Are Kipping Pull Ups Easer Than Strict Pull Ups?

Being a former body builder, presently a personal trainer in Monmouth County, NJ and now having done CrossFit for so many years, I often hear the argument of kipping pull-ups versus strict pull-ups.  If you aren’t familiar with kipping pull-ups, I have included a video below.  The basic movement involves swinging your legs and doing a hip snap to help propel the body up and get the chin above the bar.  Whereas a strict pull-up the body hangs perfectly still and only the upper body is used to pull the chin up to the bar.

The argument is that a kipping pull-up is ‘cheating’.  First – what is it cheating?? The movements are different and can be used to accomplish different goals. It depends on the individual and the individual’s fitness goals.

Because strict pull-ups require more upper body strength, they are better for isolating the back muscles and building muscle as well. People who are involved in CrossFit and cross training that want to work on speed and be able to do more reps use the kipping pull-up.  I will say that before you do kipping pull-ups, you should first work on strict pull-ups.  You want strong muscles around the shoulder before you start doing speed movements like kipping pull-ups.  This will reduce your risk of injury as you will be better able to control the movement at the top and bottom.

There are benefits to doing kipping pull-ups besides speed.  First, more muscles are used to perform the move.  The leg swing and hip snap work lower body muscles in addition to the upper body pull.  Because more muscles are being used, more cardiovascular output is needed.  This can help improve your cardio performance while working on more total body conditioning.  You will build strength as well.

A good workout idea is to do some strict pull-ups to isolate the back muscles, then as you fatigue, crank out a few kipping pull-ups to end the set.  You should learn to do kipping pull-ups from a qualified coach and practice them often to reduce your chance of injury.  This move involves a lot of pull on the shoulder at the bottom.  Having a strong strict pull-up and being able to control the movement at the top and bottom will reduce this risk.

Video: Kipping Pull Ups

About Eddie:

Eddie is a sought out personal trainer in Monmouth County, NJ. His body building back ground mixed with his present day CrossFit training is what helps him create workouts that can taylor to any fitness level, any age, and any results-oriendted individual.  Eddie owners Ultimate Fitness, a 24 hour gym in Monmouth County and Ultimate Fit Zone, a cross training and boot camp gym in Monmouth County as well. He is the director of training at both gyms.

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