Move Better: The Kip

Move Better: The Kip

Our 12 Part Move Better series is all about educating you. We want to provide a deeper understanding of movement to our readers. In this series, we will pick apart one movement per week that will help you not only move better but; move with a purpose in the gym!

Week 4: The Gymnastic kip. Let’s clear this up, if you can’t do strict pull ups or toes to bar; this is not for you – yet. Get strong first, improve mobility and Range of Motion; then come back to this. We do this in class for much of the same reasons last weeks Push Press reasons. We do this to increase cycle times and do more work in less time with more efficiency.


Breaking down the movement:

  • WHY- This is done in effort to get more work done in a workout while being as efficient with our movement as possible. Using the Kip allows us to speed up movements that would otherwise; when done strictly, take a great deal more energy from us.
  • SAFETY- Per the statement above; no one should be doing this that can’t do the requisite movement strict for several reps. Get strong first, then add this additional momentum. It will strengthen our shoulders to the extreme down-force at the bottom in addition to strengthening our hands so they don’t rip as easily.
  • SCALING – Once you can kip, you’re going to want to break it into short sets of 2-4 reps so you stay efficient.
  • EFFICIENCY KEYS – While you are trying to add movement & momentum,  you want to keep your overall body movement from getting too wild and out of control. Stay tight!
  • MOBILITY – Proper shoulder and thoracic spine mobility is key. Make sure we work on that until we can reach that fully extended position at the bottom without feeling like there is much ‘pulling’ on the anterior (front) of your shoulder or in your pec muscles. See THIS video for some mobility keys for this movement.

Stay tuned next week when we break down another brutal; yet simple, CrossFit movement!