CrossFit 101: Strict before kipping

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CrossFit 101: Strict before kipping

Our monthly “CrossFit 101 blog” from our very own CFL1 Coach Jonathan; teaching us the basics of CrossFit and the benefits of focusing on GPP (general physical preparedness) with a goal to teaching you how to improve your strength, gymnastics, and engine all at the same time. Life does not have an “off-season”, and neither do we.  Fitness For Life.

For a lot of us at the gym the ultimate goal may be to perform RX (as prescribed) pullups without any assistance, such as with boxes or the bands. Many think that by learning how to kip properly, you can immediately transition to getting your first pullup by kipping, rather than trying to master a strict pullup first. This approach to getting your first pullup generally leads to injury if the shoulder girdle is not strong enough to handle that movement.  Mastering strict pullups before kipping is a MUST for anyone trying to learning pullups. By not gaining the strength to master a strict pullup before attempting a kipping pullup, you could risk having a serious shoulder injury. Performing normal kip swings, like we do during our class movement preparation, is absolutely safe and good practice for developing a good kip and body control. However, the moment you force a pullup with a big kip when you haven’t developed the requisite strength needed to pull your own bodyweight over the bar without assistance, you’re risking injury. The downward phase of the pullup is even worse as your shoulders now have to bear the weight of the entire body in addition to the downward momentum that gravity will magnify on the body. By continuously trying to get your first pullups with a kip without strict strength the ligaments and tissues that hold the muscles together in your shoulder could be compromised and injury may occur. Once you can perform 3-5 strict pullups, your shoulders are now strong enough for kipping pullups.  Let’s work together to build that strength!

By Coach Jonathan (CFL1/CFGymnastics)

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