What’s the Kipping Pull-up?

An Unbiased Approach To The Kipping Pull-up

Previously I discussed via Q & A why I’m so enthusiastic about Gymnastics. One of the most foundational kipping exercises is the Kipping Pull-up.

This post is to discuss the humble and misunderstood Kipping Pull-up.

The Kipping Pull-up is a movement that directly exploits two phenomena:

  • The Stretch Reflex
  • Newton’s 3 Laws of Motion

The Stretch Reflex

The stretch reflex is a muscle contraction in response to stretching within the muscle.

Muscles = Bungie Cords!

It is a reflex which provides automatic regulation of skeletal muscle length.

When a muscle lengthens, the muscle spindle is stretched and its nerve activity increases.

Nerve activity = Gains

This is a phenomenon of the body to exploit kinetic energy, which is energy that a body (YOU) possess by virtue of being in motion.

Which Brings us to….

Newton’s 3 Laws of Motion

Newton’s first law of motion – An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.

The last part is the pendulum effect of the kip.

All that is going against the user is air resistance and some physical human body stuff 🙂

The mental effects (perceived rate of effort) and physical (mostly physiology, proper mechanics and, in this case, grip and lat strength).

Awareness is key to exploiting this law of motion.

Where are your eyes? Where is your feet, hands…mind? All these are VERY relative in movement!

The kipping pull-up is seen fast but experienced with an incomprehensible degree of control.

It isn’t cheating to be human but simply being more awesome!

Newton’s second law of motion states that the acceleration of an object is dependent upon two variables – the net force acting upon the object and the mass of the object.

In the Kipping Pull-up, the mass is YOU.

The net force depends on many variables, including:

  • Lat Strength
  • Grip Strength
  • Shoulder Range of Motion
  • Torso Strength and Endurance

The degree of the Kip Swing is directly dependent on these factors.

Simply answer these questions:

  • How long can you stay above the bar in a chin hang? 30s is a Great Goal 😉
  • How long can you stay below the bar in a overhand hang? 60s for Grip!
  • How many Skin-the-Cats can you do? How’s the shoulder range of motion?
  • How long can you maintain a Hollow? Got Core?

Strength is misinterpreted as Dynamic, such as Strict Pull-ups where there is a bend in the elbow. This is incorrect as the use of kinetic energy exists.

Static Holds eliminate this. They force maximal recruitment of muscles available. Literally all that is needed is time.

Add a buddy, ADD SOME FUN!

Newton’s third law is: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

This is why the Kipping Pull-up will build what is called Speed-Strength and Speed-Strength Endurance.

This is discussed thoroughly (like WOW my mind is blown – constantly) in Professor Yuri Verhoshansky’s Supertraining.

However, it will NOT build strength for the Strict Pull-up.

Why? Angles

The Kipping Pull-up, ideally, has a degree of 45 degrees or more. The more degree behind the bar the easier the movement is to perform due to kinetic energy.

The catch? It’s directly related to STRENGTH.

Enough for one day 🙂

A Kip is a tool and has it’s place in your arsenal of movements available for USE.

A place for everything and everything in its place.

Gymnastics course Starting July 17th – We’ll Educate as we Explore ourselves and the Kipping Pull-up is just one that we’ll practice throughout our 6 weeks of exploration!


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