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So I know there's some criticism towards CrossFitters as to not having much programming, etc. (true for some, not all). But I really think my coaches are terrific programmers. We consistently strength cycle and focus is always on form & technique to avoid injury before adding load.

ANYway I noticed recently there haven't been many pullups in the workouts. Occasionally there'd be low reps thrown in there, but not the "50 pull ups" like you see some places. Then yesterday, our coach posted this awesome article on our box's website.

I personally can't even do a dead-hang yet, but had been working towards a kip. Now I will be focusing on the technique of "real" pullups - I mean, honestly, if I was talking to a non-crossfitter and I was talking about being able to do pullups (and they were kipping), i'd feel like I was cheating! We're definitely gonna work towards the dead-hangs first.

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Agreed. There's just something awesome about the first real deadhang pull-up you can do, don't want you to miss out on that feeling. :)

I just went to my first Crossfit last week, well to be fair the introductory session where they went over the exercises and form, and they went straight to kipping pull-ups and skipped the deadhangs. It's funny because I can do a lot of deadhang pull-ups, but I can't quite get the hang of a kipping pull-up. I lack coordination and any sort of exercise that requires coordination (clean and jerk, etc) is very very challenging for me.

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I would consider the way Scarlet's gym approaches pullups to be "the wrong way" and CH's "the right way".

I've witnessed more than a few people come out of gyms with copious amounts of high volume kipping programming who couldn't even break their elbows when attempting dead hangs. These are people who were in some cases doing as many as 50-80 unassisted kips in a workout and when the time came to "ok pullup" they flat out couldn't. Not even close. Often to the utter shock and awe of the person in question. When asked they invariably said something to the effect of "I always just thought I'd be able to do one". This is the problem when we neglect boring old strength in the name of sexy dance moves. It just doesn't transfer that way in most cases.

Not that I don't appreciate sexy dance moves. Strong people doing sexy dance moves? Preferable.

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I would consider the way Scarlet's gym approaches pullups to be "the wrong way" and CH's "the right way".

I've witnessed more than a few people come out of gyms with copious amounts of high volume kipping programming who couldn't even break their elbows when attempting dead hangs. These are people who were in some cases doing as many as 50-80 unassisted kips in a workout and when the time came to "ok pullup" they flat out couldn't. Not even close. Often to the utter shock and awe of the person in question. When asked they invariably said something to the effect of "I always just thought I'd be able to do one". This is the problem when we neglect boring old strength in the name of sexy dance moves. It just doesn't transfer that way in most cases.

Not that I don't appreciate sexy dance moves. Strong people doing sexy dance moves? Preferable.

Ok, I'm glad I'm not the only person who thought that was strange. I'm gonna ask about it when I get back and get in the gym. Also, maybe some day I can figure out how to kip correctly.

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Strong people doing sexy dance moves? Preferable.

Always the most impressive.

I agree with the whole kipping thing not being the first pull up exercise you should do. In a Cf competition and need to bang out pull ups as fast as possible? Go for it. Actually trying to make yourself stronger during a workout? At least do some deadhangs, or some form of assisted deadhangs, then work on the kipping.3

On another note, I think I'm getting a tendon issue in my upper arm (outside, where the tricep connects to the elbow area). It feels like what I've heard tennis elbow feels like. I'm guessing it's from the high volume of push ups and pull ups I've all of a sudden started doing, especially on Mondays. I need to make sure I take rest days seriously for my arms from now on until this goes away.

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I think the issue with starting on kipping is that you're not focusing on the true strength of the movement, like the article says, and putting yourself at risk for shoulder injuries. Sure, if you're doing a workout that requires 50 pullups you're probably going to kip them (at at CF gym anyway), but I'm glad there are people that recognize the importance of having the strength first.

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This is the problem when we neglect boring old strength in the name of sexy dance moves. It just doesn't transfer that way in most cases.

Describing 90% of the fitness world's philosophy? I think so.

Back on topic, I find it interesting about kipping pullups. I always thought that if some one could do a whole bunch then surely they can do a dead hang right?

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Ok, I'm glad I'm not the only person who thought that was strange. I'm gonna ask about it when I get back and get in the gym. Also, maybe some day I can figure out how to kip correctly.

Was this a group setting or did a coach put you into kipping in an individual setting? If you've demonstrated deadhangs going to kipping isn't nearly as "wrong".

Kipping is a higher level motor pattern (skill) that requires practice. Since you've already got sufficient body weight strength and control you should be able to pick them up with relatively less practice than someone with less but it will still take some time. Most people report things like "just finding the groove" after a while which is consistent with learning higher level repetitive skills. Eventually you just sort of "feel" when to apply power and it all smooths out.

The battle you fight in learning the kip will be largely the opposite of a beginner or someone with less strength and control. Your tendency will probably be to apply too much power even if you're doing it at the right time which will throw off your rhythm. I had around 16-20 deadhangs when I first started playing with kipping and it was a while before I could even equal my deadhang numbers with kips.

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Back on topic, I find it interesting about kipping pullups. I always thought that if some one could do a whole bunch then surely they can do a dead hang right?

You and lot of other people who really should know better.

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Was this a group setting or did a coach put you into kipping in an individual setting? If you've demonstrated deadhangs going to kipping isn't nearly as "wrong".

Kipping is a higher level motor pattern (skill) that requires practice. Since you've already got sufficient body weight strength and control you should be able to pick them up with relatively less practice than someone with less but it will still take some time. Most people report things like "just finding the groove" after a while which is consistent with learning higher level repetitive skills. Eventually you just sort of "feel" when to apply power and it all smooths out.

The battle you fight in learning the kip will be largely the opposite of a beginner or someone with less strength and control. Your tendency will probably be to apply too much power even if you're doing it at the right time which will throw off your rhythm. I had around 16-20 deadhangs when I first started playing with kipping and it was a while before I could even equal my deadhang numbers with kips.

This was more of a group setting demonstrating proper form for a wide range of CF exercises. At this point I've got about 15-20 deadhangs, although I usually only do sets of 5. I imagine I'll just have to practice the motion. I struggle with any sort of exercise that requires a rhythm or coordinated motion, probably my main fitness weakness.

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Back on topic, I find it interesting about kipping pullups. I always thought that if some one could do a whole bunch then surely they can do a dead hang right?

The momentum from the hips/leg drive makes it so you don't have to pull as hard. I imagine people with high hips drives, which many CFers have from kettle bells swings and the like, could probably halve the amount they would have to pull to get their chin over the bar.

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The momentum from the hips/leg drive makes it so you don't have to pull as hard. I imagine people with high hips drives, which many CFers have from kettle bells swings and the like, could probably halve the amount they would have to pull to get their chin over the bar.

Pretty much. Which illustrates the main problem. Even in an untrained person the hips are going to be a much larger source of power than the traditional "pullup muscles". If I take the untrained person and give them the toolset to apply this power to a ballistic kipping pullup it's like a mechanic dropping a busted up transmission from an old Ford Taurus into a Shelby Mustang. The hip is the high performance 5.4 liter supercharged V8 and the shoulder complex is the transmission. What's going to happen?

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Pretty much. Which illustrates the main problem. Even in an untrained person the hips are going to be a much larger source of power than the traditional "pullup muscles". If I take the untrained person and give them the toolset to apply this power to a ballistic kipping pullup it's like a mechanic dropping a busted up transmission from an old Ford Taurus into a Shelby Mustang. The hip is the high performance 5.4 liter supercharged V8 and the shoulder complex is the transmission. What's going to happen?

Transmission go BOOM?

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OK, so I don't do CF and had to google what "kipping" is, and I have a couple questions:

What does kipping add to the workout that a deadhang wouldn't cover? Increased heart rate? Different muscles?

And this is just out of ignorance of CF and a kipping pullup, but isn't kipping kind of a cheat by using momentum to perform the job that should be covered by your own strength?

Again, I'm just clueless on this CF stuff and was just curious.

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It helps you get up and over the bar with less back strength than deadhangs require basically, which allows you to do higher volume than deadhangs. Being able to do more adds that endurance element to it. I think this is the only reason CF does it, but I'm not sure.

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Back on topic, I find it interesting about kipping pullups. I always thought that if some one could do a whole bunch then surely they can do a dead hang right?

You would think so! There is a girl at my gym who can knock out kipping pullups like no one's business, but she can barely do a dead-hang. Needless to say she's got some shoulder problems going on right now :/

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It helps you get up and over the bar with less back strength than deadhangs require basically, which allows you to do higher volume than deadhangs. Being able to do more adds that endurance element to it. I think this is the only reason CF does it, but I'm not sure.

I know it is valuable to learn to do if you want to progress from pull-ups to muscle-ups, the pull-push transition is much easier to execute if you've got the extra momentum from a kip. However I would think that once you are able to do a muscle-up, the goal shifts to reducing the amount of assistance you get from a kip. A deadhang muscle-up is complete and total beast mode.

Every progression to muscle-ups that I've read about includes learning a kipping pullup.

Whether or not this is the reason CF does them is an entirely different story.

Edited by Waldo

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I know it is valuable to learn to do if you want to progress from pull-ups to muscle-ups, the pull-push transition is much easier to execute if you've got the extra momentum from a kip. However I would think that once you are able to do a muscle-up, the goal shifts to reducing the amount of assistance you get from a kip. A deadhang muscle-up is complete and total beast mode.

Every progression to muscle-ups that I've read about includes learning a kipping pullup.

And that is why "Muscle Ups- 20 in a row" are in my epic quest. Beast Mode!

Very good point I hadn't considered.

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And that is why "Muscle Ups- 20 in a row" are in my epic quest. Beast Mode!

Very good point I hadn't considered.

I would love to be able to perform deadhang pull-up to muscle-up to top of the bar planche hold some day.

Edited by Waldo

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