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Kipping pullups involve more leg swing than regular pullups.
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If you're not familiar with CrossFit training, a kipping pullup may look like someone wiggling or swinging on a high bar and then performing a pullup. But it's actually a well-orchestrated movement, similar to a powerlifter's clean and jerk. The object of scorn by fitness traditionalists, kipping pullups can be said to have some benefits compared to regular pullups.
Kipping allows you to use momentum to successfully perform a pullup. Use proper form to reduce risk of injury with this exercise.
Preparing for Gymnastics
Kipping pullup movements teach good body control. You can't just flail around on the bar and then pull yourself up. Your movements must be coordinated so you can translate your horizontal momentum into vertical movement. As a result, the exercise benefits gymnasts and aspiring gymnasts by preparing you for similar movements on the high bar, parallel bar or the rings.
More Power to You
The kipping pullup is a plyometric type of exercise that relies on explosive power. Rather than steadily pulling yourself straight up, as you would with a standard pullup, you ascend by thrusting yourself upward quickly. Additionally, kipping pullups engage core muscles and can be considered a total-body exercise, while standard pullups are more narrowly focused on developing strength in the back, rear shoulders and upper arms.
To Cheat, or Not to Cheat
Because you use momentum to pull yourself up to the bar, some consider kipping pullups as a form of cheating. For example, certified strength and conditioning specialist Robert Dos Remedios told вЂњMen's HealthвЂќ that he can do 15 standard pullups but 30 kipping pullups, which makes the latter exercise appear twice as easy. But if your goal is to exercise more muscle groups, to burn extra calories due to the additional movement and to perform a more athletically functional exercise, then doing a kipping pullup isn't cheating; it's just a different type of exercise with different benefits, when compared to standard pullups.
What's Different About Them
To be sure you're performing the multi-movement exercise properly, you may wish to see a personal trainer who's familiar with CrossFit technique. As with standard pullups and other strength-training exercises, warm up your muscles with five to 10 minutes of light cardio activity before you try kipping pullups.
Begin the kipping pullup by hanging from the bar with a wide, overhand grip, as you would for a standard pullup. Press your shoulders and chest forward of the bar and then push your shoulders back behind the bar. As you're retreating with your shoulders, swing your hips forward to generate momentum. Ascend to the bar by simultaneously swinging your hips backward and pulling up with your arms. As with ordinary pullups, your goal is to raise your chin above the bar. Descend slowly to the starting position. Try to do at least 10 repetitions, or work up to that level.