Death By Pull Ups

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With a continuously running clock IMG_9416

do one pull-up the first minute,

two pull-ups the second minute,

three pull-ups the third minute… continuing as long as you are able.

Use as many sets each minute as needed.
Post number of minutes completed

Strength Focus: Power Clean-
Build to a tough TNG set of 3 in 12 Minutes

 

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How to Improve Your Pull-ups  by: Tabata Times

One of the biggest developments in the fitness industry within the last decade has been the popularization of the kipping pull-up, as it has become more common with the rise of CrossFit. With its faster cycling time and development of core-to-extremity movement, the kipping pull-up is definitely an effective movement for developing athletes. Furthermore, what about the strict pull-up? What is its role in the grand scheme of training? Is one kind of pull-up superior to the other? How else can I improve my kipping pull-ups (and shave precious seconds off my Fran time)? Let’s take a closer look.

Definition of a kipping pullup

The kipping pull-up is a little more sophisticated than the deadhang pull-up. Done correctly, it involves a hip snap that radiates up the spine and into the arms, effectively lifting the body with minimal upper body pullingJohn Sifferman

Within the context of CrossFit, Greg Glassman advocates for the importance of the kipping pull-up:

Kipping is whole-body, athletic, and demands coordination and agility. It is plyometric, requires flexibility of the shoulders, allows for rapid cycle time, and in totality represents an essential, unique, and powerful core to extremity motor recruitment pattern.

Do More Work Faster

Josh Newman of CrossFit NYC presents several advantages of the kipping pull-up.

On the training side, kipping pull-ups allow people to do a greater volume of work than they might with dead hangs alone. They also allow people to do that same work faster, increasing power output. And they form the basis of more advanced movements – like clapping pull-ups and muscle-ups – that are initially much harder to learn from just the strict pull-up, and that we think are hugely beneficial training stimuli.

On the building block side, we think the kipping pull-up is simply a more athletic movement, and can be better applied in real world contexts, where efficiency matters. It also reflects what we find to be a general principle of effective movement: generating power in the stronger, larger muscles in the middle of the body, then extending that power out towards the extremities.

Improving Your Kipping Pull-up

Two themes emerge from these gymnastics experts: maintain a hollow body position and control the kip with your upper body, not your hips.

When in doubt, check a gymnast – or a gymnastics coach – out for tips on how to perform kipping pull-ups safely and more efficiently. As with any gymnastics movement, doing kipping pull-ups well requires a combination of coordination and strength (thus the importance of developing foundational strength through the strict pull-up).

  • Jeff Tucker presents an excellent instructional video on kipping pull-ups. He teaches the kipping pull-up from “a gymnastics purist” perspective, “without the introduction of angles created by a violent hip drive.” Instead, he teaches initiating and controlling the momentum of the kip by using the upper body.

 Carl Paoli and Kelly Starrett look at the kipping pull-up in terms of the athlete’s ability to maintain a neutral hollow position from head to toe while moving. As Carl performs a kipping pull-up at medium speed and then accelerates to a high rep, high cycling movement, he uses less leg movement and more upper body movement to maintain the kip. They note that athletes tend to suffer shoulder and elbow problems when they are unable to maintain a neutral hollow position.

How to Improve Your Pull-ups

  • In CrossFit Journal’s “Pull-up Virtuosity”, Laurie Galassi of CrossFit Santa Cruz presents a series of videos which break the kipping pulling down into 2 basic positions: the arch and the hollow position.

In part 1, Laurie presents some cues regarding setup and points of performance for the arch and hollow positions. For the arch position, she emphasizes the butt being tight while the chest is open. For the hollow position, she has her athletes lie on the ground and maintain the hollow position through the chest while keeping the legs tight to maintain tension throughout the body.

In part 2, Laurie stresses the importance of timing to a kipping pull-up. On the pull-up bar, the athletes practice the transition between the arch and hollow position. The transition, or “weightless moment,” that occurs after an athlete snaps back from the arch to the hollow position, only happens if s/he stays tight and maintains good rhythm for the kipping pull-up.

Strict pull-ups make your kipping pull-up better

Definition of a strict pull-up

The strict pull-up is a fundamental gymnastic bodyweight movement, as described below

The strict, deadhang pull-up is a bodybuilding-style pull-up in which the purpose is to maximally contract the muscles of the back and arms – mostly the lats, biceps, and forearms. The rest of the body is meant to remain in enough tension to maintain a rigid structure. With the deadhang pull-up, the body should not move except for those joints which are required to perform the movement itself, the elbows and shoulders. All other joints should remain relatively stationary, as they shouldn’t contribute to the force production required to execute the exercise. This is the classic exercise that people think of when they hear about pull-ups.

Strict pullups act as an assistance exercise for the kipping pull-up

In an article by bodyweightculture.com, Joshua Newman of CrossFit NYC and Drew Baye from Drew Baye’s High Intensity training give their views of the strict pull-up and their place within their respective training methodologies.

According to Newman, one advantage of training and practicing the strict pull-up is that it add variation to the athlete’s training. He encourages “changing the grip, changing the equipment, even changing the level of fatigue.By doing this, the athlete is testing how “gym strength” translates into the real world.In a sport like rock climbing, for example, it is often impossible to kip because of the rock face itself; in this case, having the ability to perform a strict pull-up is essential.

The strict pull-up is “both a training tool and a movement building block.” Once an athlete can perform a certain number of kipping pull-ups, s/he is no longer building strength, just endurance. Strict and weighted pull-ups, therefore, become “an excellent tool for training limit strength.”

Strict pull-ups are often safer from a performance aspect and still as effective as kipping pull-ups.

Strict pull-ups or chin-ups are safer for the joints involved and more effective for increasing the strength of the arms, shoulders and back. As long as an appropriate load and duration are used, due to the continuous tension they will produce a comparable metabolic demand to a set of kipping pull-ups involving more mechanical work.

In short, the strict pull-up provides variation, trains limit strength, and applies well in real-world situations. Additionally,the safety and effectiveness of developing a strict pull-up builds strength in the arms, shoulders, and back. Some boxes even make the ability to perform one strict pull-up a prerequisite to learning kipping pull-ups.

“The strict pull-up develops the baseline strength and stability in the shoulder girdle required of the kipping pull-up.”

Still not convinced? Consider the following advantages of developing a strict (non-kipping) pull-up:    

  • Improving raw, upper body vertical pulling strength (e.g. strongman competitors)
  • Preparing for a bodybuilding competition
  • Increasing muscle hypertrophyin particular, the lat and bicep muscle
  • Getting started with basic gymnastics (beginner level)
  • Improving general rock climbing conditioning
  • Preparing for any sport that requires upper body vertical pulling strength

According to Justin Guzman of CrossFit Brea, training the strict pull-up develops the baseline strength and stability in the shoulder girdle required of the kipping pull-up. Training the strict pull-up becomes a fundamental building block to developing the kipping pull-up.

Double your trouble for maximum benefits

Deciding whether to focus on strict pull-ups and/or kipping pull-ups will depend on your goals. If your goal is overall athletic development,then the kipping pull-up is a very effective tool. Given the volume of pull-ups that are often part of CrossFit workouts, the kipping pull-up allows for performing higher reps at a greater efficiency rate. On the other hand, if your goal is to build strength to assist your development of the kipping pull-up (and/or increasestrength beyond what the kipping pull-up can itself develop), then the strict pull-up is a necessary part of training. Learning how to perform both movements effectively will only benefit your athletic progress overall.

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