Differing Types of Pull-ups

Pull ups are an important skill and ability for us to have – they develop upper body strength, are functional, and can be applied to many real-life situations, while keeping our bodies working properly.  When we train pull ups, we have different ways of doing them depending on our purpose: strict, kipping, or butterfly.

Strict pull ups are important and trained for developing raw strength, body control/awareness, and functionality.  The strength required to do a strict pull up is important to have in life in case we have to pull ourselves up onto something to save someone or to get ourselves over an obstacle.  They train large muscle groups while creating strength and safety for future ballistic movements, like the kipping pull-up.

Kipping pull ups are a gymnastics movement that allows us to complete more pull ups in a shorter time frame.  However, they do require the strength to do strict pull ups from a safety perspective.  As we drop down from the pull up bar, our shoulders still have to absorb the full force of our bodies and control our movement, and without that strength we are subject to injury. 

Kipping pull ups help us drive adaptation through our muscles- they build endurance + strength through doing more reps in less time and require our muscles to rebuild more. They also add more of a cardio flavor because we’re moving faster. In theory, kipping a pull-up makes the movement easier. However, they become more challenging in the sense that our heart rate is substantially increased, which makes continued work more difficult, thus creating higher intensity. 

Lastly, Butterfly pull ups just allow us to do kipping pull ups even faster in a competition-type setting. They require even more strength and body control, so make sure you master the strict and kipping pull up first before you attempt to do butterfly! 


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