Kipping pull-ups: technique, advantages and disadvantages

In the world of sports, there is much debate about how to perform this or that exercise. Today I would like to talk about one of the types of pull-ups, which are called kicking pull-ups.

What is kipping?

Kipping is one of the types of pull-ups, during which the load on the hands is reduced due to the impulse that is formed due to the swaying of the body. Many people think that kicking is a lighter kind of pull-ups. This statement is only partially true.

Kipping pull-ups: technique, advantages and disadvantages

The effect on the muscles of the upper body during kipping is noticeably less, however, on the exercise the body spends the same amount due to the energy of other muscles. In addition, joints and tendons get an increased load. Therefore, the exercise can be considered relatively traumatic.

Kipping is usually used by professional crossfit athletes for quicker and less energy-intensive pull-ups. Thanks to this, the athlete performs repetitions faster and their number increases significantly.

History of the appearance

The rules of the first crossfit competitions included a paragraph on pull-ups, which stated that the chin should be wound over the bar by any means. Based on this, we can conclude that kipping or swinging is not a violation of the rules. To achieve maximum results, athletes have developed this technique.

Kipping pull-ups: technique, advantages and disadvantages

At first, this type of pull-ups did not go beyond professional competitions, but with the wide spread of crossfit around the world, beginner athletes began to use it. In today's crossfit competitions, there are practically no athletes who perform classic pull-ups on the crossbar.

Few people think about the trauma of kipping for an unprepared body. If the athlete has a poorly developed shoulder girdle, especially joints and ligaments, then the risk of injury is very high.

Sometimes even athletes who can’t do a few classic pull-ups use the swing. And it harms their health.

Preparing for kipping

First decide for yourself whether you need to master this technique.

If you are not a professional crossfit athlete, then most likely you do not need "bales".

Before directly doing kipping pull-ups, you need to seriously prepare your shoulder girdle for increased loads.

To prevent intense swings from damaging your joints and muscles, follow these guidelines:

  1. You must be able to perform 5 pure classical pull-ups. Do not think it is easy. Try from the position of the hang without jerks and gently raise your chin above the crossbar, linger for 2-3 seconds in this position and then gradually descend to its original position.

    If you manage to perform 5 classic pull-ups in several approaches, then you can start to gradually include kipping in your workout.

  2. Now start trying kipping, but little by little. Be sure to pause between repetitions. You can also perform two pull-ups and, after the second, perform a smooth lowering to its original position. At first, do not even try to perform many repetitions in a row, you first need to hone the technique of execution, and only then work on linking the repetitions.

    When the number of repetitions of kipping reaches 7-10, you can move on.

  3. Alternate kicking and classic pull-ups. Follow the classic approach and then “finish” the muscles with “bales”. No matter how tired you are, you must definitely perform a delay at the top. When the total number of repetitions reaches 15-20, continue to the next exercise.

  4. In this step, you need to learn how to bind repeats of pull-ups together. When it starts to turn out well, try to gradually increase the speed.
  5. The hardest step is to learn butterfly pull-ups. It gives greater speed of execution, but also requires more skill, physical preparation and dexterity.


Kipping is performed from the state of hanging.

The starting position is the same as with classical pull-ups. First, the legs are kicked back, then the legs are thrown forward and the body is thrown up due to the resulting impulse. At the highest point, you need to linger for a second or two and then lower back by swinging your legs. The movement of the body resembles an arc.

Butterfly stroke is a more advanced kind of kipping.

It is used by professional crossfit athletes to recruit a large number of pull-ups in a short time. A distinctive feature of the butterfly stroke style is the continuity of repetitions. You do not need to linger at the top point - after lifting immediately follows the lowering. Due to this, time is saved. In this case, the body moves in an ellipse.

Do you need this?

As you already understood, kipping and butterfly stroke are specific types of pull-ups. They are needed only in cases where you need to perform many repetitions in a short time, and this is only necessary in professional crossfit competitions.

Kicking is also useful in the final stages of training, when you need to finally "hammer" the muscles of the arms and shoulders. Kipping does not provide muscle building. To use it or not in their training, everyone decides for himself.



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