Kipping Pull-ups Keeping You Up At Night?

As Coach said, “Kipping is a gateway skill with functional utility on the rings, parallel bars, high bar and floor.” The kip is a basic gymnastics skill that requires flexion and extension at the shoulders and hips. The kip demands flexibility, coordination and agility in order to efficiently and effectively express power and speed. In addition, the kipping variations of the pull-up enable faster cycling rates, thus increasing the intensity of the movement and the associated physiological adaptations. Check out the progressions we’ve outlined below to take your pull- ups to the next level:


• Kip Swing – From a static hang on the bar, athletes repeatedly move the body from the hollow to arch position. Emphasize flexion and extension at the shoulder to generate the movement.
• Pull-down + Knees up – More aggressive flexion and extension at the shoulder, as the athlete transitions into the hollow position he/she flexes the hip, brining the knees toward the chest.
• Floor Drill – Athletes lie on their backs, hips flexed to 90 degrees, arms extended overhead. On the call of “Go,” athletes violently extend the hip and land in the finish position of a Glute Bridge.
• Kipping Pull-up, single repetition – Athletes perform the “Pull-down + Knees up” and immediately after flexing the hip, the athletes aggressively extend the hip and pull with the arms until the chin clears the bar.
• Kipping Pull-up + Push away – At the top of the Pull-up, athletes extend the elbow, pushing themselves away from the bar and into the arch position of the next repetition
• Kipping Pull-up, cycling repetitions.


• “Elliptical” Kip, low bar, emphasize slight upward gaze – Athletes stand on a box or use an adjustable low bar.
• Standing with the chin above the bar, athletes pull themselves down and underneath the bar into the arch position and follow an elliptical pattern until returning to the starting position
• Halting Pull-up, emphasize global shapes and straight lines – Perform one Kipping Pull- up and pause momentarily at the top of the repetition. Following the pause, athletes pull themselves down and underneath the bar. The elliptical pattern should enable the athlete to perform a second repetition
• Butterfly Pull-up, straight leg – Athletes attempt to perform consecutive Butterfly Pull-ups while keeping the knees extended
• Butterfly Pull-up, knee flexion – At the bottom of the repetition, the knees flex and rapidly extend, providing additional moment to the next Pull-up

Want to dig a little deeper into progressions like these? Than be sure to check out our 6-week gymnastics course starting Monday, June 19. Spots are filling up fast!

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