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Kipping Pull Up

The kipping pull up is perhaps one of the most sought after gymnastic movements in CrossFit, but can take quite some time to learn. While it may appear as though one is just swinging on the bar and pulling up, there is actually a lot of technique involved. Strength and patience are also key elements to the learning process.

Over the next several articles, we will discuss the progressions of the kipping pull-up.

Today, we will highlight body position by learning the hollow hold. This alone can be a difficult position to maintain, so becoming proficient here will certainly help your development process.

Set Up:

Lie on the floor in a supine position, bring your knees to your chest and raise your shoulders slightly off the floor.  Your lower back will become ‘attached’ to the floor.

Hollow Hold

While maintaining that position, extend your arms overhead (biceps near the ears) and lengthen your legs while keeping your feet together. Your hands should be about 12-14” off the floor, your feet, 8-10” off the floor. When in this fully extended position, your low back should maintain constant contact with the floor.  Practice this position by consistently holding for 30 seconds to a minute. You could easily add this into your warm up routine. If you find that this position is too difficult to maintain, bring the arms back down and bring your knees back toward your chest as in the above photo.


Add Tension

Continue to master this isometric hold under tension. Add tension by placing your hands under a heavy object and pressing gently against it to add resistance. You are building core strength from this movement that will translate into your pull ups.


Hollow Rocks

While maintaining the isometric hollow position, begin “rocking” your body, mid back to butt. You’ll want to practice this movement for some time before moving into our next steps. I like to practice these by performing for a certain about of time, starting off, with 15-20 seconds, increasing gradually from there. You could also do them in sets and reps, ex: 3 x 15 with a 30-second break in between.

Next article we discuss adding the “Superman” element, and moving onto the pull-up bar.

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