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The Gymnastics Kipping Pull-Up With Jeff Tucker by Jeff Tucker - CrossFit Journal

In Coaching, Gymnastics/Tumbling, Videos

September 30, 2011

Video Article

At the 2011 Summer Affiliate Gathering recently held in Big Sky, Mont., CrossFit Gymnastics coach Jeff Tucker instructs an athlete on the technique of the kipping pull-up.

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.

6min 58sec

Additional reading: Kipping Pullups by Greg Glassman, published April 1, 2005.

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7 Comments on “The Gymnastics Kipping Pull-Up With Jeff Tucker”


wrote …

This is great coaching by Tuck!! Having just completed the Level 1 Cert, I was told my 'frogkick' gymnastics pullup (bit like Sakamotos, not utilising hip as much) was 'wrong' and that I needed to work on the correct kipping pullup. This even after I explained shoulder mobility was a massive problem, so I appreciate Tucks advice on not going beyond your anatomys capacity and risk damaging connective tissue. I did a Gymnastics Cert with Tuck in 2009, and whilst he obviously encouraged increasing shoulder mobility he didnt try to 'make' my body do something it was at the time incapable of doing, and risk injury. Great coaching Tuck, again!

Cert 1 Staff, there is more than one way to skin a cat!


wrote …

Great instruction. "Your ass should be making you diamonds." Wicked quote and even better cause it is true.


wrote …

Great Product!


wrote …

Well - thanks for the very kind words - and obvious understanding of the points being discussed... That was a fun day in Montana and what a great backdrop to play and coach in. Good times indeed...


wrote …

Where can I find info about doing a gymnastics Cert?


wrote …

Vince - please go to speciality courses on the main page and you can pick from a variety of dates and locations. We are booked out through 2012. Come see us.



wrote …

Jeff! Amazing coach!
I have a question. I have a student who is learning the kip. Im having her do upper body activation with your concept of closed chest/feet in front open chest/ feet behind keeping that hip within that range of motion so that she doesnt do the pendulum swing.

One thing im noticing about her swing is that she is controlling the swing after she descends from the closed chest/ feet in front part. Different cues im giving her are not working so far. any idea how we can play with this minor issue?



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