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Teaching the Pull-up to a Large Group: Part 1 by Adrian Bozman with Lisa Ray - CrossFit Journal

Teaching the Pull-up to a Large Group: Part 1

By Adrian Bozman with Lisa Ray

Video Article

There are many progressions for learning the kipping pull-up, and different cues will work for different athletes. Join HQ trainers Adrian (Boz) Bozman and Lisa Ray as Boz instructs coaches on his method of teaching the pull-up to a large class.

Boz begins with an overview of the steps: the swing, the drive, the kip and the return. Then he introduces the whole movement, explaining why it’s useful and functional: it’s more powerful and requires the same work but takes less time because of the hip drive.

“It’s exactly analogous to a standing press vs. a push press. One of them is not necessarily more valid than the other. They just have a different end goal,” Boz says. He also recommends athletes practice many different types of pull-ups.

The progressions for a kipping pull-up start with the swing. Boz uses tactile cues to develop a controlled swing and emphasizes making the cues and progressions as simple as possible. After the swing, Boz moves on to the drive, working first on the ground to dial in the technique.

Of course, a minimum amount of strength is required, and if it’s not there, no amount of timing or technique will make kipping pull-ups accessible.

“They need to get stronger, and how are they going to get stronger? Well, practicing this stuff and doing it,” Boz says.

12min 22sec

Additional reading: Kipping Pull-Up Progression by Eva Twardokens, published Mar. 1, 2006.

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19 Comments on “Teaching the Pull-up to a Large Group: Part 1”


wrote …

Lots of good advice here that I'll have to try out in my local box. I'd say that that kipping pull-ups are one of the skills I severely lack, but seeing this video really makes me realize that I may be thinking way too much (one of my biggest downfalls). Thanks, Boz!


wrote …

i love the comment about getting that dead hang first... nice job throughout guys! good work!


wrote …

Great video! Good job Boz.


Frank DiMeo wrote …

Thanks for the simple, clear teaching progression.


wrote …

Loved the question "whats wrong with this technique" answer "nothing" Plants a seed to not over complicate things. Just work on the deadhangs and build some strength. Cheers Boz! ;)


wrote …



wrote …

Great video. My problem is pushing away at the top and starting the whole process over, not being able to get in a rhythm. Probably over thinking the process like he said. Looking forward to Part 2.


wrote …

That was a great presentation on the progressions for the regular kipping pull up. I haven't seen much on on the journal about how to do the butterfly kipping pull up. It is obviously very popular and faster to do the butterfly style. I would like to see a similar presentation for how to get the butterfly style kipping pull up. Thanks.


replied to comment from Brian Giddis

Search YouTube for Chris Spealler and butterfly kip instruction. Best butterfly kipping instruction video I have seen.


wrote …

Excellent presentation. I really enjoyed it. One additional comment regarding all the haters of the kipping pull-up out there; When teaching /explaining the topic, in addition to the higher power output justification, I also make reference to the agility, balance, and coordination aspects of the general physical skills model of Crossfit. A kipping pull-up calls upon more of those general physical skills than a standard pull-up and therefore serves to make us better athletes in a broader, more inclusive sense.


wrote …

One of the best videos to date! Please, Please, Pretty Please w/ almond butter on top have more instructional videos like this on the journal. Boz, EC, and Sherwood would be great too!


replied to comment from Aaron Daniel

Aaron, I have had success teaching the Kip to people who aren't stringing them together but can otherwise Kip by asking them to think of the movement as starting and finishing at the top rather than the bottom, it conserves the momentum and avoids the stop at the bottom and subsequent need to restart each time.

Great vid thanks Lisa and boz.


wrote …

I agree about getting the clients structure/foundation stronger with some dead hang pullups and practice swings before adding in the total dynamic movement. Great video Boz and I enjoy how simple you can teach a complex movement. Keep up the great work! Looking forward to part 2!


wrote …

Echo the comment about this being a great demonstration video and looking forward to more like it. I loved his style and how he broke the movement into its elements. Great work.


replied to comment from Jennifer Sumner

Thank you for the Youtube link. Very helpful.


wrote …

Awesome Moustach Boz!!!


Chad Cross wrote …

Great videos, thank you. I am curious about the dead hang comment though. Would you ever use bands to help people do kipping pull ups like Jeff Tucker talks about in his video "Kipping Pull ups for New Clients" I would say 80% of our new people are nowhere near getting a dead hang.


wrote …

Great work


wrote …

Very nice. Should help us out!
I was just thinking to myself, "But Boz, what about minimum strength requirements?" and you answered my question.

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