- FOR TIME:
- 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 REPS OF:
- STRICT PULL UPS
- BB CURL 95/25
There is no violent hip drive in the gymnastics kipping pull-up. Instead of using the lower body to drive the pull-up, the upper body powers the movement. Why is this useful? It’s insurance at exhaustion. If you have the best mechanics before working to exhaustion, you can buffer the deterioration that happens under fatigue.
“That’s why I’m saying just go ahead and initiate it with upper body in the first place,” says CrossFit Gymnastics coach Jeff Tucker.
Join Tucker and Jeannie Bassi, his gymnast and demonstrator, as they teach the gymnastics kipping pull-up.
In Part 1, Tucker drills the beginning of the movement. The gymnastics kipping pull-up starts with an opening and closing of the upper body, focusing on initiating the movement with the lats and active shoulders for strength, safety and efficiency. From there, it’s a matter of leverage, and you don’t want to create angles by breaking your extended hips, arms or knees. Pull only when your wrist angle breaks, after you have achieved momentum. Push away with active control at the top to cycle back through the swing.
In Part 2, Tucker runs a group of athletes through drills. He begins with static holds and then drills the initiation of the swing using the lats and shoulders. Next, he adds the pull when the wrists break and a push away at the top to return to the swing. The key is upper-body initiation of the movement: the better your opening and closing of your shoulders, the more momentum you have on the bar and the easier your pull-up will be.
Tucker and Bassi both emphasize “strength first” before developing kipping pull-ups. Tucker suggests greasing the groove to build upper-body strength and body control using dead hangs, negatives and band assistance. The hollow rock and “superman” are also great tools for development of the open and closed positions and the midline stabilization you will need for the pull-up.
In Part 3, the coaches begin by critiquing butterfly pull-ups, which may be great for speed but aren’t great on the elbows and shoulders. Despite the shortcomings of any variation, practicing different types of pull-ups is still useful.
“This is what I mean about being able to write with both hands, being able to have something else to pull out of your knapsack,” Tucker says.
Tucker also addresses injury and protecting previously injured joints. The gymnastics kipping pull-up safeguards against injury because it allows you to stabilize your joints, develop the muscles around them and control hyperextension.
Overall, gymnastics has a lot to offer the CrossFitter interested in improving his or her pull-up mechanics for maximum power, safety and efficiency.
Part 1: 9min 38sec
Part 2: 10min 27sec
Part 3: 9min 47sec
Video by Again Faster.
Additional reading: Kipping Pullups by Greg Glassman, published April 1, 2005.
Greg Glassman asked the question, “What is fitness?” Blair Morrison offers some of his own thoughts to help you discover what fitness means to you.
What is fitness?
That question is one of the foundations of the CrossFit program, and asking it will make you question just about everything you know about training. In answering it, Greg Glassman created a new way of training and a new way of thinking about health and human performance. He also got people thinking and answering the question for themselves.
In this installment, two-time CrossFit Games competitor Blair Morrison looks at fitness as protection from injury and illness, as well as how having a purpose will give meaning to your training.
“So it might be pretty obvious that CrossFit is all about (the) musculoskeletal system, cardiorespiratory system, but what isn’t as obvious is the effect of exercise on the brain,” says Dr. Jon Gary, a member of CrossFit Kids. According to Dr. Gary, CrossFit Kids gives us a unique opportunity to enhance a child’s brain development.
“CrossFit Kids cross-trains the brain,” he says.
Dr. Gary’s aim is to help children move better through CrossFit Kids and help develop each child’s brain at the same time.
“Athletic performance is solving a problem. Whether it’s moving your body through space or an external object through space, you have to solve a problem. And it’s not your muscles that do the solving, OK. It’s your brain,” he says.
Another reason exercise is so important is a child’s vestibular development, or spacial awareness, which stimulates an emotional center of the brain.
“It’s extremely important for us in our programming that we activate the vestibular system on a daily basis,” Dr. Gary says.
Additional reading from the lecture includes:
Additional reading in the CrossFit Journal: How to Build a Better Neural Highway by Cyndi Rodi, published April 2, 2009.
“Today, we’re going to show you a couple drills we’ve developed to help you get you through that transitional phase,” says Dusty Hyland, co-owner of DogTown CrossFit in Culver City, Calif. He’s joined by fellow coach Kelly Pearsall, and together they provide some gymnastics tips that will help you develop your muscle-up.
The coaches start their drills at the parallettes and work on the pulling-to-pushing transition. The next step is trying the drill on the parallel bars, gradually working from feet on the ground to feet off the ground. Finally, the athlete can progress to low rings for some band-assisted muscle-up practice.
“You want to have a band that’s going to challenge you,” Pearsall says.
“At the end of the day, if the drill is way too easy, if you’re getting up there with no problem, it’s not going to help you. You need to find one that’s going to make you work for it,” Pearsall says.
Additional video: Why Gymnastics? by Jeff Tucker, published June 10, 2009.
Louie Simmons explains the finer points of the training principles he employs at the legendary Westside Barbell in Columbus, Ohio.
While experts like Tudor O. Bompa, Y.V. Verkhoshansky and others call for a yearly or multi-year plan, they were concentrating on the training for an Olympic competition, which occurs every four years. Westside speed-strength cycles, or waves, are integrated throughout the yearly plan as absolute strength building on max-effort day, hypertrophy work, and on the dynamic day for speed strength, using the repetition method on small exercises. There are countless sports but only three methods of strength training, as mentioned above.
Westside breaks training into three-week waves. After three weeks, you will not gain strength or speed using the same method. The goal of training is adaptation, but just at the time adaptation occurs, a poor training result can interfere with training. This is known as accommodation, a biology law that states a decrease in training effects will occur.
To eliminate accommodation, the three-week pendulum wave must be used. The percentages of a one-rep max and the volume must change. Major exercises must rotate. Squat, bench, clean, snatch and jerk exercises must change. Accommodating resistance methods must change, meaning using chains, bands and lightened methods. Inside those methods, the amount of accommodating resistance must also change. This means more or less chains, more or less bands, or more or less weight reduced in the bottom by the lightened method. When squatting and benching, you can change the stance and grip, respectively.