Video Article

There are many ways to teach the kipping-pull-up progression, and they’re all designed to help athletes understand the gymnastics movement. For Level 1 Seminar Staff member Cherie Chan, the teaching progression starts with the “dead bug.”

“We’re gonna go in what’s called kind of a dead bug,” Chan says to an athlete struggling with the movement. “So your feet are going to go to the sky and point your toes.”

The athlete, lying on her back, then lowers the feet to achieve a hollow position. Chan then instructs her to roll over from a hollow rock to a superman position several times. Then it’s time to practice on the bar.

“Now what we have to do it is generate power from our hips,” says Chan, who co-owns CrossFit Verve in Denver with her husband, Matt.

Next she asks the athlete to exaggerate the knee-up position on the backswing. With the energy created, it’s time to let it loose, she adds.

“What I need to do is open this hip,” Chan says to the athlete while lying on the floor again. “I want you to imagine that there’s a fence right here and I have to jump over the fence with my feet.”

After a few more cues and some practice, the athlete is able to do not one but multiple kipping pull-ups.

“I’m thrilled,” the athlete says excitedly. “Thank you!”

7min 26sec

HD file size: 194 MB
SD wmv file size: 89 MB
SD mov file size: 49 MB

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Additional audio: CrossFit Radio Episode 241 by Justin Judkins, published Sept. 12, 2012.

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28 Comments on “A Kipping Pull-Up Instructional”


wrote …

What a GREAT example of progression teaching combined with technical knowledge and astute correction. Impressed!


wrote …

Just what I need after Death by Pull-ups! I've just finished my Foundations classes and I'm raring to train on progressions. Thanks so much Crossfit and Cherie!


wrote …

Awesome!!! Cherie as always does an amazing job to explain and break things down. Thanks!!


wrote …

beautifully done!


wrote …

awesome break down! can't wait to improve my kipping pull up with this information! thanks!


wrote …

That's great coaching!


wrote …

Nice progression, I didnt think about rolling ppl over, but I think that it'll work.


wrote …

Awesome video, been stuggling with pull-ups and I can wait to try this tomorrow. Thanks again!


wrote …

I like this progression...a number of my athletes are struggling with these. I saw a number of good cues I tend to help them with.


wrote …

I too did like her break down and cues.

However a coach at my box pointed out that teaching that violent heap movement is wrong.

Even more Jeff Tucker talks clearly against it in his video: Part 1

Any thoughts on why Cherie uses it (violent heap opening) in her video if it's clearly wrong to do so?


wrote …

Excellent video and instruction.


wrote …

Love it! I get so pumped up seeing people get firsts like that. Great coaching.


wrote …

A violent hip opening is not wrong. It is also okay to have different opinions from people on how to teach/perform movements. I use a powerful hip opening for pull-ups, muscle-ups, bar muscle-ups, etc. It works like a champ. It's good to check out various cues and style, then find the one that brings you success.


wrote …

You can't fake enthusiam like that... great job coaching, great job listening and applying what you're being told. that was a fantastic video. congrats and keep on working with it and you'll be banging out mulitple kipping pullups in NO time. best,


wrote …

haha, I can so relate to the joy of getting it !!! Awesome.


wrote …

This video helped me get 10 unbroken pullups for the first time. My max was 5 prior to working the progression shown in the video. Thanks!!!


wrote …

Carol - thanks for being such and awesome student, you were so much fun!

Thanks for all the comments everyone, much appreciated.



wrote …

Fanstiastic video


wrote …

That was awesome!!! I acutally clapped with excitment when Carol got her pull-up! I can't wait to try it out with the athletes at our gym. Thanks Cherie!


wrote …

Dude. I just learned stuff. Now I will share with others.Thanks for the lesson.


I would agree with your coach's comment in most instances. However, it appears the athlete in the video had never done a kipping pull-up before. So teaching the popping of the hips helps the beginner get that first pull-up. And look at how excited she was once she got it (and rightfully so! She did a great job of picking it up quickly).

Once this athlete gets the first one (or couple) out of the way, then the Chans will probably work on cleaning up the kip as your coach suggests. Like Pat says, it's good to have more than one style in your bag.


wrote …

The Chan's were both instructors at my L1. I distinctly remember a participant asking about teaching the kipping pullup to his gyms members and the first thing the red shirts said was that the member/athlete needed to have 3-5 deadhang pullups in the bag before attempting the kipping pullup.

Take care of your shoulders, Carol. Cheers.


wrote …

I'm determined to get kipping!! Will give it a go :)


wrote …

Excellent kipping lesson, I saw it several times to take all the details I can...then I try it in the box.....good results!! thanks!


wrote …

I just did my first few sets of these and that smile and excitement was exactly my reaction! Great job!


wrote …

I'm a pretty new Crossfiter and watching this and the full breakdown of all the movements into segments was exactly what I needed. Excellent Video!


wrote …

Best breakdown I've ever seen. As a new coach appreciate the vivid verbal and tactile cues. Great coaching.


wrote …

Great break down and wonderful coaching. However, props to her client. Most of the world does NOT respond that well to cues...especially the kip.

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