The topic is the pull-up in the third episode of Offline, an unscripted presentation of guests debating controversial subjects in the CrossFit world. In this installment, discussion focuses on whether strict pull-ups should be required of athletes before kipping pull-ups are taught, an issue raised by Matt Crabtree in the Huffington Post article CrossFitters: Why I Haven’t Taught You to Kip.
Host Russell Berger welcomes guests Dave Durante, a member of USA Gymnastics’ 2008 Olympic team and a coach at CrossFit LIC; Carl Paoli, a coach at San Francisco CrossFit; Jacob Tsypkin of CrossFit Monterey; and Dan Pope, a physical therapist and author of FitnessPainFree.com.
Tsypkin starts off the discussion aggressively.
“Nobody’s ever substantiated this supposed risk behind the kipping pull-up. Nobody’s ever proven that. At all,” he says.
Although he does teach strict pull-ups first, it’s not because of injury concerns, Tsypkin notes. It’s because it’s easier to teach the kipping pull-up after somebody has mastered strict pull-ups, he says.
Next, the group moves on to the butterfly kipping pull-up, and a lively debate erupts between Durante and Paoli over whether the butterfly technique is part of a “natural progression” of movement.
“It’s something that we’ve never done in gymnastics before,” Durante says. “It’s a dangerous position in my eyes.”
Paoli responds by asking about how the supinated-grip giant swing on the high bar came about. He suggests the first person to try the movement would have been viewed as crazy, though the technique is now very much a part of gymnastics.
The final question posed by Berger is this: “Do you think that we should require athletes to do strict pull-ups before kipping, and why or why not?”
Post your views to comments.
Video by Russell Berger and Noor Greene.
HD file size: 289 MB
SD mov file size: 108 MB
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Additional reading: Kipping Pullups by Greg Glassman, published April 1, 2005.