How to Know When You're Ready for Kipping Pull Ups

July 08, 2018

Photocredit: Crossfit66

You sweat, you struggle and you curse. You train negatives, progressions and assisted formats to build up the muscles. And then one day you finally pass that breaking point, your chin crests the bar and VICTORY IS YOURS! 

Pull-ups. God bless them, amiright?

Though the nemesis of many, there is such sweet satisfaction when you finally complete your first strict pull-up. As any box-goer knows, pull-ups are a staple in WODs and for many other athletes, they are a milestone marker that we strive so desperately to improve.

Alongside pull-ups are their CrossFit® counterpart, the kipping pull-up. And with that a whole lot of "WTF!?" 


Before I dive into the facts, I want to be crystal clear on one thing; there is indeed a specific time when you should be doing kipping pull-ups and it is NOT before you have mastered the strict pull-up.

A lot of new athlete's look at the kipping pull up as a cheat - "the shortcut to Rx'ing a WOD" because you can use the momentum of the kip to crest the bar and "complete" your pull up movement. Unfortunately, this sort of thinking is what leads to shoulder injuries. Let's be smart people! 

So if you aren't sure if you are ready to do kipping, you should be able to do at least 3-4 strict unbroken pull-ups 💪🏽💪🏽

**If you haven't mastered the strict pull-up yet be sure to check out our WOD Nation Resistance Bands to help with progressions and WODprep's free guide to pull-ups the complete package to getting strict pull-ups!**

    You wouldn't sprint without learning to run first, and the same goes for kipping pull-ups. Robert Camacho from Breaking Muscle said it best, "They're a hundred meter sprint for your arms. Kipping pull-ups aren't meant for building raw strength and if you see them or use them that way, that's on you, pal."

    They rely heavily on proper biomechanical functionality. Simply put... you should watch this step by step breakdown by our awesome P.I.C. Ben Dziwulski aka WODprep

    Once you are strong and stable enough to perform this movement, make sure to focus on maintaining correct form. Have a coach watch so you can see what needs improvement 😊

    It's up to you to listen to your body and make the best decisions for it. Good things come to those who work their asses off!! Put in the effort and it will be 100% WORTH IT!

    This is a guest post from Linda Hong, CF-L1 Certified, Eleiko Strength Coach and WOD Nation Team Leader. You can always expect to hear back from Linda about any inquiries on WOD Nation gear. Linda is currently coaching at Crossfit Chiang Mai or traveling around the globe so catch her if you can! For more Linda, you can follow her on
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