A Simple Modification for Kipping Pull-ups You’ve Never Tried

By djpope

February 5, 2017

kipping, kipping pull-up, modifications, physical therapy, progressions

So last week I leaked some of my favorite modifications for C-kip and Butterfly Pull-ups.  In case you missed them I’ll post them below:


I really wanted to make a blog post about how people get hurt and why it’s so important for people to modify these movements.

Obviously there isn’t research out there to fall back on when it comes to kipping pull-ups.  Where I generally see people get hurt is either in the backswing (arch of a kip) or when they fatigue and bottom out in the bottom of the pull-up.

Gaining more mobility, tightening the kip up and generating more movement through the core and not shoulders can generally help people with pain in the backswing of a pull-up.

When it comes to people bottoming out in the bottom of a pullup we can also come up with a few ideas to correct this:

  • Get stronger
  • Emphasize slow lowering and strength in the bottom of strict pull-ups
  • Moderate volume of kipping work in the gym
  • Chunk reps better during met-con
  • Change the variation

One reason why changing the variation is so important is because so many people can’t do more then a handful of kipping pull-ups at a time.  When this happens athletes don’t have the strength to get their chin high enough and then push away at the top.  When this happens they fall straight down, bottom out and can’t string together reps.

One very easy way to have people continue working on effective hollow and arch position, kip timing, strength and stability in the shoulder joint is just to modify the kip variation.  As your athletes get stronger and stronger you can easily increase the difficulty of the movement.

So coaches out there give these a shot and let me know how they go.  It’s been very effective in the classes I teach when kipping is involved.  Just brainstorming about better ways to get people in shape and stay safe.

Steady Kipping,

Dan Pope, DPT, OCS, CSCS