Beginners: To kip or not to kip?

That is the question.

So I was watching this CrossFit Journal debate on this question:

“Do you think that we should require athletes to do strict pull-ups before kipping, and why or why not?”

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WATCH Episode 3: Strict Pull-Ups Before Kipping Pull-Ups?

And it really got me thinking about my own experience and observations of athletes at my box.

At District CrossFit we do a little bit of both. Athletes who “don’t have” strict pull-ups are encouraged to scale down to negatives or banded pull ups, to build the strength required to complete a pull up. For WODs, we scale down to either jumping pull-ups or 2 second negatives.

Often times, WODs include a skill and strength portion, which is where we incorporate kipping progression work.  Athletes who don’t have either kipping or strict pull-ups work through the progression of swinging and using their hips but without the final pull.

Like any complex movement in CrossFit, it should be taken in stages.  I personally don’t think athletes should be barred from practicing the kip – in fact, I think they should be encouraged. But when it comes to WODs, I think the appropriate scale is a MUST and no kipping with bands.

Agree? Disagree? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


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7 replies

  1. Our box is pretty new (8 months)…and for athletes that cannot do a strict pull up, they can do jumping, or banded pullups. Most of the female athletes are able to do banded, however, I was taught the banded kip….and I am on the smallest band (currently). I can do ONE strict pull up, but I struggle with more than that.

    I suppose I can see it both ways. I also practice my grip strength (by hanging) and my swing without the kip POST-WOD…just to get the motion down.

  2. You are so awesome! I don’t suppose I’ve read a single thing like that before. So good to discover someone with a few original thoughts on this topic. Seriously.. many thanks for starting this up. This web site is something that is required on the internet, someone with a bit of originality!


  1. SLOW MOTION: The Butterfly Pull Up « Crossfit or Die
  2. DISCUSSION: Strict v. Kipping « Crossfit or Die

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