January 03, 2011
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.
Additional reading: Kipping Pull-Up Progression by Eva Twardokens, published Mar. 1, 2006.