Tucker addresses whether the kipping pull-up is driven by the hips or the upper body. The gymnastics expert says it’s smoother when the upper body is the prime mover.
“When you throw your lower body into it, you gotta have a shitload of muscle to control that negative force you just put on it,” he says. “Shortest distance between A and B? Straight line.”
Tucker has an athlete practice the gymnastics swing to help transition from a hip-driven movement to a more upper-body-driven movement. While both will get you a kipping pull-up, he says, the gymnastics swing is more specific and efficient and will allow you to string together more pull-ups.
“Going away from this big hip drive to a gymnastics swing is night and day, night and day,” he says. “And you can see it, too.”
Tucker also cautions the athlete eager to change his/her style.
“Make sure you don’t go beyond capacity of your anatomy, right? So I don’t want you going so far open that we’re doing damage to the connective tissues. Go to what your body flexibility will allow,” he says.
“Play with it,” Tucker says.
Additional reading: Kipping Pullups by Greg Glassman, published April 1, 2005.