CrossFit Gymnastics

Kipping Pull-Up

The kipping pull-up is an extremely common movement in CrossFit WODs. Here's how to do it properly.


The kipping pull-up is an extremely common movement in CrossFit WODs, and a good kip is vital to improving CrossFit performance. As opposed to a “strict” or “dead-hang” pull-up, which uses upper-body strength to pull the body upward, a “kip” incorporates upper-body strength, hip action and momentum, allowing the athlete to perform more repetitions before reaching muscle fatigue.

1. Start from a dead hang, gripping the bar with your palms forward. Keep your core very tight.


2. Push your chest forward, in front of the bar.

As you move through this position, you may find yourself in the “superman” position we sometimes do lying stomach-down on the ground, with your arms and legs raised.


3. Use your core to pull back through so your body is behind the bar.

4. As you move into the “hollow body” position, pull down on the bar with your arms and lift your knees.

This concave position is referred to as a “hollow body” when done lying faceup on the ground.


5. Now, coordination and timing become important. As you finish pulling your knees up, “pop” your hips into an open position as you continue to pull on the bar. The timing of arm pull/knees up/hips open will drive you up to the bar.

6. Once your chin is over the bar, push yourself down and away from the bar to swing back underneath and set up for the next kip.

Once you feel the rhythm of the upswing and return, you should be able to string together many kipping pull-ups in a row.