My Favorite Exercise to Build Strong Shoulders for Butterfly Pull-ups

Butterfly pull-ups get a bad rap.  Like any other exercise they are a skill and the body needs to be prepared to perform them correctly and handle the stress...
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Butterfly pull-ups get a bad rap.  Like any other exercise they are a skill and the body needs to be prepared to perform them correctly and handle the stress of the exercise.  Here is a favorite exercise of mine to accomplish this.

Reasons I like this exercise:

  • It teaches athletes the basic movement of butterfly kipping pull-ups.
  • It’s scaleable – Some athletes will be able to make big circles and others won’t.  This makes it work well in a group environment.
  • It’s strict – We’re building strength in the shoulder complex, preparing for more dynamic movements
  • It’s great in warm-ups – Get those shoulders ready for battle if a workout is going to have butterfly work

Say what you like about butterfly kipping.  I believe we can more safely progress our athletes toward this movement.  This was one little exercise I think helps us get there.

Give these a shot and then get back to me by responding in the comments below.

If you’d like to see how I program exercises like these into my training program to keep your shoulders strong and healthy then click this link.

I love butterflies,

Dan Pope DPT, OCS CSCS CF L1

Categories
gymnasticsInjury Preventionpull-upShoulder
3 Comments on this post.
  • Eric LeMay
    1 August 2016 at 10:26
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    Dan, Thanks for this exercise. Very interesting. I tried it out today and enjoyed it. Quick question: my triceps are smoked—is that standard or a sign of using the wrong muscles? Thanks again, Eric

    • djpope
      5 August 2016 at 10:26
      Leave a Reply

      Good stuff! Probably means the long head of the triceps is doing work. Not a bad thing I don’t think.

  • Journey Series: Butterfly Pull-ups – Thoughts from an average Crossfit Athlete
    7 November 2016 at 10:26
    Leave a Reply

    […] this once a week for the first couple weeks. My coach also sent me a link to Dr. Dan Pope’s blog. He suggests doing strict, and progressively larger butterfly […]

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