Rest 5 minutes.
150 Wallball shots, 20 pound ball
Coach Mark’s Notes:
Have you ever thought about why we do kipping pull ups? What the benefits are or the drawbacks? Too often, an athlete that is new to functional training will just begin doing them and not ask why or question their coach. There is a lot to be said about this controversial version of the pull up, and there is definitely no shortage of articles and videos scattered about the internet from both the lovers and the haters. Let's get into it.
The most important thing that needs to be said about the kipping pull up is this: it does not replace the strict pull up. It is a different motion altogether. Does the overhead squat take priority over the low bar back squat? Definitely not. Do overhead squatters out there criticize and hate low bar back squatters because their squat doesn't demand the barbell to be overhead or require as much shoulder flexibility? Again, definitely not. The two motions are different and should both be respected and trained. So what's the difference?
This is a beautiful motion, and anyone who discredits it or argues its rightful place in our bag of tricks either can't do them or can't do many of them. This variation of the pull up is the fundamental gymnastic pull, a prerequisite to so many other motions. The hips are incorporated; rather than being forced to stay stationary, they get to move and provide their power to the exercise. Since more work can be done faster, cardio becomes a factor. If you knock out 100 of these in 3 or 4 minutes, you'll be breathing harder than a KFC employee on Tuesday. I guess the key to appreciating this movement is realizing that there are many different motions in the pull up family, the kipping pull up being only one. For an athlete training CrossFit or the like, what this movement provides is what GPP is all about.
The list isn't short when it comes to the body weight pulls. Rope climbs, strict pull ups, one arm pull ups, muscle ups, ring pull ups, and bar muscle ups are just a few members. The kipping pull up fits into this family as one of the most important. In a nut shell, the athlete is doing more work faster, and that's what we love. More range of motion than a strict pull up, faster and more aggressive. Plus, the hips are moving, and that's always good.
In the end, train both. Each variation has its benefits and downfalls when trained exclusively, but trained diversely the whole family will satisfy any goals. A rock climber may lean more toward the strict side while an MMA fighter might benefit more from a more kip predominant regime. As long as your range of motion and technique are there, it's all good.