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Old 06-18-2004, 09:10 AM   #21
Christopher Sommer
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Kipping pull-ups or, as I call them, Chinese pull-ups, are useful tool for easily increasing total amount of repetitions as well as developing elasticity in the shoulder girdle. They are also beneficial is developing a sense of rhythm and coordination.

Someone who already understands the mechanics of the movement can start from a hang, however I have found that it is usually easiest for beginners to begin from the top of the pull-up. To get the most benefit from a kipping motion on pull-ups I would recommend the following:

1) Begin from a static hold at the top of the pull-up.

2) Drop as quickly as possible to the bottom of the pull-up. While the body is dropping press the shoulders (feel the arm pits STRETCH) forward and the hips backward. This will result in the body somewhat resembling a stretched out letter C with the hands on the bar, the shoulders slightly in front of the hands and the hips slightly behind the hands.

3) Bounce strongly out of the bottom position. Use the momentum from the bounce to propel yourself back up to the bar, strongly reversing your body position on the way up. Do not attempt to stop precisely at the top of the bar, but allow the body to go as high as it wishes. Your may find that your hands are also hopping slightly off the bar at the top if your kip has been powerful. Finish with hands on the bar, shoulders slightly behind the hands and the hips slightly in front of the hands.

4) Do not pause at the top, but immediately use your speed and momentum to bounce down into another repetition.

5) This movement is self regulating. If you are not using the swing of the hips and shoulders in coordination the movement will become awkward and out of control and you will be unable to proceed to the next repetition.

6) Pay close attention to your hands. Several high rep sets of these can result in some spectacular blisters if you are not used to this kind of work.

Yours in Fitness,
Coach Sommer

OlympicBodies@aol.com
http://www.dragondoor.com/cgi-bin/ar...&articleid=229
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Old 06-18-2004, 10:08 AM   #22
Barry Cooper
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I've been thinking about this, and I think I can break it down. I have been kicking my feet back, to sort of start the whip, and I think what is going on is you are first elongating your abs, and then shortening them explosively at the appropriate moment to get you through a sticking point with a minimum of effort. I think that point is roughly 80-110 degrees of bend in the elbow.

If you stick your arms out, with your forearm sticking up 90 degress to your upper arm, lay down, and focus on bringing your elbows forward, you of course also involve your abs. That is almost a definition of a crunch. So in the kip, it is the EXPLOSIVE stomach contration that makes the difference. That seems to jibe as well with what Coach Sommer is saying. In the Chinese pullup you are basically just prestretching the stomach even more, making the force reversal almost (or maybe actually) plyometric.

As a side note, I have started looking for that plyometric prestretch everywhere, and-like PHI--it seems to be everywhere. The second knee bend in O-Lifting is plyometric, because you are loading it dynamically, and exploding back up. Box Squats are plyometric. You rock back, then rock forward, prestretching your knees, then explode up. I have found it in every Highland Games event. The Sheaf Toss was actually my "A-Ha", when one of the guys told me a tip he had been given by the amateur world record holder.

I'll test this theory on pullups this weekend, and try those Chinese Pullups. That sounds like a really smart exercise. Thanks Coach!
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Old 06-18-2004, 10:34 AM   #23
Barry Cooper
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OK. I've thought about this some more. I have more than once felt pullups in my pectorals, and now that I analyze this from the whole front body contraction perspective, it makes sense. You're doing a limited pullover. Also, I look up when I'm going up, but my head kicks forward at the top. Again, you keep the backwards "C" until you need to kick it in. Going down (i.e., the body), there is probably even potentially hip flexor involvement. Thus, a strong kip uses most of the body.
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Old 06-18-2004, 10:45 AM   #24
Robert Wolf
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Ross-There is a back lean which opens the angle of the chest relative to the bar.

We have had good results teaching people to simply swing on the rings. It is amazing how difficult it is for most people to initiate and maintain momentum in this way. On finds the same "C" type body positioning as that described by Coach Sommer, however in this situation the total cycle time and transitions from position to position are much slower. For some people that seems to be just what they need to get the concept. Whoever mentioned the abs component is right on. Most of my folks who struggle on kips lack core strength.

Coach Sommer-

I can not wait to try the technique you mentioned! Excellent as always.
Robb
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Old 06-18-2004, 11:08 AM   #25
Carrie Klumpar
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Interesting stuff on ab involvement in pull-ups. I've never been a kipper, but when I'm struggling for the last pull-up or two, I do curl my abs in and lift my knees, almost like a really sloppy L-pull-up. It really seems to help. Dunno—it might just be the only way I really engage my abs enough. Maybe it is sort of a slow-motion half-kip?

And now that I think about it, maybe it also helps with transition part of the muscle-up, since it puts me in a pretty forward-tending sort of position.

Probably learning to kip would help even more, especially when going for high-rep pull-up sets for time, as CF so often calls for. Usually, I tend to do the whole pull-up slowly, including the lowering part, but I've been trying to get the feel for the kipping motion lately. While the long slow approach may be good for training pull-up strength and ability, it's not the best way to get high reps because it fatigues the muscles a lot. (OK, I guess that's what Robb already said: "it is important to distinguish between efforts to produce a stimulus and streamlining a workout to optimize time").

P.S. Regarding the reference in the post that started this thread to the idea that "you should be able to do 15 pull-ups and 15 dips before trying muscle ups," that's not, like, a law or something. Don't not work muscle-ups just because your pull-ups and dips aren't where you think they need to be in order to do a MU!
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Old 06-18-2004, 11:38 AM   #26
David Werner
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Carrie, spoken as one who knows.

Carrie got her first unassisted muscle-up at Crossfit North last week, making her Seattles' first female muscle-uper (that we know of).

Congratulations Carrie!

Dave
Crossfit North
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Old 06-18-2004, 02:07 PM   #27
Scott Parker
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congratulations carrie!

like you i seem to do the same thing with my abs, and always try to keep strict form when performing pull-ups. currently i am stuck at 26. we'll see what happens now that i know it's accepted to cheat on my form a little!

scott
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Old 06-18-2004, 02:39 PM   #28
Robert Wolf
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Carrie-
Congrats!!! That is fantastic.

Just a point of clarification however...I am not so sure that slow steady movements are the "best" for developing the strength component. Working a kip vigerously causes severe loading. The only thing which feels similar or perhaps even more severe is swinging on the high bar. I think the ballistic/plyometric nature of many gymnastics moves subject one to neuromuscular demands which are virtually impossible to duplicate or approach with other modalities.
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Old 06-18-2004, 03:23 PM   #29
Ross Hunt
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Robb-

Thanks.
I need to try swinging on rings. I tried swinging on parallel bars this morning and nose-dived into the floor when I forgot to stay tight :lame:. Gymnastics requires recruitment of the abdominals in such a different way than weightlifting or standard ab exercises! In the former you get to focus all your attention on tightening and performing a simple motion; many of the latter seem to be about learning how to hold the body straight AS it goes through crazy motions. Challenging.

Ross Hunt
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Old 06-18-2004, 06:18 PM   #30
Kevin Roddy
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On a semi-related note -

I was talking to my gymnastics coach about the pullup challenge yesterday, and he told me a story. He said that when he first entered college, him and some of the people in his class had a little pullup contest, just to see how many they could do. He pulled 32 without ever doing one in his life. How did he do it? He grew up on a farm. :crazy:

-Kevin
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