Kipping Pull Ups, What You Need to Know About This Workout

Kipping Pull Ups, What You Need to Know About This Workout

Of the workouts which make use of your body weight, you will see that there are a few which stand out from the rest. There is the push up, of course, which is seen as one of the most simple and integral bodyweight workouts, but one which is often overlooked is the pull up.

Of course, if you are browsing this site, you are very likely a fan of pull ups, or you are looking to formulate an exercise plan that emphasizes pull ups more prominently. The pull up is a workout that doesn't require too much exercise equipment, and it can be accomplished with a relatively small amount of practice.

There are few better ways of exercising your upper body than by incorporating traditional pull ups into your exercise regimen. While most of us are already acquainted with the regular pull up, we are going to be discussing something that seems to be closely related it, but is still quite different.

One of the more divisive matters amongst bodybuilders and crossfitters is the legitimacy of the kipping pull up. We are going to take a look at this workout in close detail and see whether it is worthy of its reputation. The first thing we are going to do is explain the kipping pull up in basic terms to ensure that we are all on the same page.

What Is A Kipping Pull Up?

The basic pull up is a relatively stationary exercise which is meant to build up muscular strength in your arms more than anything else. While they share a name and have a few superficial similarities, you will find that kipping pull ups and regular pull ups are very different exercises regarding objectives and execution.

The standard pull up, true to its namesake, is accomplished by keeping your arms shoulder-width apart and pulling yourself up from two overhanging handles. This is relatively straightforward and can be performed by most reasonably active people. The kipping pull up, on the other hand, relies less on the sheer strength of your arms.

A kipping pull up is accomplished by positioning yourself as if you are getting ready to do a pull up. This means that you will need to have your hands on the overhanging handles and your body off the ground. Instead of using your arms to lift yourself up to the top, you are going to do something very different.

Kiping Pull Up

In a kipping pull up, you use the momentum of your body to bring yourself up to the top of the bar. Unlike regular pull ups, which tend to be distinct motions from each other, you will find that kipping pull ups can be combined into one fluid motion in which the previous one blends into the next.

Since kipping pull ups use a lot more of your body than just your arms, you will find that the outcome of your workout will be far different from that of regular pull ups. Now that everyone is familiar with this type of pull up, we are going to take a look at why exactly you would do them.

Who Does Kipping Pull Ups?

Kipping pull ups are usually practiced by CrossFit athletes, but this is not always the case. The reason for kipping pull ups being so popular amongst those who partake in CrossFit is because they can help you get more reps in throughout a CrossFit session.

Crossfit tends to be more about speed and multiple workouts in a short time span than the more long-term goals that are envisioned in your average workout. A kipping pull up is far faster than a regular one, to the point that you can do three kipping pull ups in the time it takes to do one standard pull up (with proper training, of course).

Kipping Excercise

A kipping pull up is usually considered a pull up rep during CrossFit, so this makes for a far faster workout, and it works for CrossFit. Unfortunately, if you are working out to build muscle, you will find that kipping pull ups will not do anywhere near as much for you as regular pull ups.

Are Kipping Pull Ups Dangerous?

If you have seen a kipping pull up, you would assume that there is more of an element of danger to it than there would be from a regular pull up. This is rather sensical, as you don’t move very much over the course of a regular pull up, so it will be far harder for you to injure parts of your body when they aren’t moving.

The truth is that kipping pull ups are not as dangerous as they have been reputed to be. You will find that they are perfectly safe as long as they are done with the proper technique, as with any other workout. One of the reasons for which they are reputed to be unsafe is that it can be difficult to learn them.

Difficult to Learn Kipping

Keep in mind that while it may seem easier to do a large number of kipping pull ups, you should not be doing them unless you are relatively proficient in standard pull ups. Unless you have good control over your upper body and a reasonable amount of strength in your arms, this workout may not go well for you.

As with any other workout, training is key as well as physical preparation. Ensure that you always do your dynamic stretches before you start your workout and then cap off that workout with some static stretches. This will decrease the chance of injury setting in during or after you have completed the exercise.


As you can see, kipping pull ups are not quite the workout catastrophe that some people proclaim them to be. For certain applications, you will find that kipping pull ups are the better choice than regular pull ups. Stick to the more traditional variety if you only want to build muscle, however.

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