DISCUSSION: Strict v. Kipping

I literally just blogged about this a few months ago, but another blogger (Michelle Stafford) shared with me her perspective as both a coach and an athlete. I’ve gotta say, this is a must read.

…”you should be striving for the greatness in your performance as well and expecting the very best from your coaches, it’s not just about the clock on the wall or the weight on the bar.  You want to get stronger? Then dial in your technique and you will progress. Every rep counts…”

Her post — which you can read here — is chalk full of lines just like this. 

When I’d originally started thinking about this back in December, I was a little undecided.  After having read this piece by Mike Tromello, “The importance of respecting the CrossFit process,” where he descirbes the one things he sees over and over again — a complete disregard for patience — I’m convinced that kipping is NOT for beginners.

Reflecting on my own training, I was early to adopt kipping pull ups and progressed fine.  But when I started butterfly pull ups, I clearly wasn’t ready and there were times I could feel my arms and shoulders close to injury.  I just hadn’t developed the proper strength to do the movement.  In retrospect, I was lucky I listened to my body and stopped until I was ready.

Below is a short clip of me doing them last summer. I was ok at the beginning of WODs, but once I got tired, my form got terrible and I was yanking my shoulders hard.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCdjNaR5CRY]

Truth be told, I don’t believe there’s any one correct answer, but as Michelle and Mike rightly point out, patience and a strong appreciation for fundamentals and focused growth cannot be overstated, and for 99% of the athletes (in my opinion) that means no kipping for quite some time.


Categories: Blog

5 replies

  1. It’s posts and articles like this that are so valuable to me as I start out in the world of crossfit. Cheers.

  2. Thanks for sharing the CrossFit Love Brother!!! I’m glad you agree, I hope this helps others see how important basics and strong fundamentals are in the development of athletic progression.

    This was definitely a lesson learned by me early on in my CrossFit Journey, I too tried to learn kipping to soon, lacked the strength in my shoulder girdle, and ended up with a shoulder injury that took four months to heal. As you can imagine, that was devastating to me as an athlete and to my training. However, I’m grateful for the experience, since then I have become a smarter athlete and coach.

    We should all be striving for virtuosity within our training and coaching. Thanks again for sharing my post and I look forward to following your blog, you have great material and good insight into topics matters.

    Take Care.


  3. Reblogged this on My Journey Rx and commented:
    Some great feedback and experience from a fellow crossfitter regarding the topic matter of Strict Pull Ups Vs. Kipping Pull Ups. He has a great CrossFit Blog to follow as well, http://crossfitordie.com/!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: