Practice your Pull Ups – Thu 11.10.16

 In W.O.D.

Skill:  On the minute for 10:00:
– Pull Ups practice

*Performance: 5 Chest to Bar or 3 Muscle Ups
Fitness: 3 Strict or 5 Kipping
Health:  5 Kipping attempts


Conditioning:  Complete as many rounds as possible in 14 minutes of:
– 10 Sumo Deadlift High Pulls (Performance: 115/75#, Fitness: 95/65#, Health: 45/35#)
– 25 Abmat Sit-ups
– 50 Double Unders (Health: Jumping Jacks)

Excerpt from the CrossFit Gymnastics Course:

PULL-UP Primary movers: Latissimus dorsi, biceps brachii, brachioradialis.

RING ROW: Performed with the feet on the ground, the ring row begins with lat activation, then a pull to the rib cage. It is a good strength progression for pull-ups.


  • Performed with arms locked out at the bottom and chin above the bar at the top. Lat activation initiates the movement before the arms begin to bend, and the hollow is maintained throughout.
  • A prerequisite for kipping pull-ups.
  • Slow Close/Open Drill (Hollow/Arch)
  • Pause in hollow (close)
  • Back to neutral (hanging straight, no swing or sway)
  • Pause in arch (open)
  • Beat Swing (Kip Swing)
  • Close/open (hollow/arch) fast
  • Become still with control (able to stop on a dime)


  • Swing, swing, pull
  • More lat activation on the pull (close the angle of the shoulder)
  • Pull into the bar, then press away
  • Teaches how to control the swing

KIPPING PULL-UP As the feet tap forward, the hollow position is employed and the lats are actively engaged, effectively closing the shoulder angle and creating a slight weightlessness before a pull into the bar. A push away occurs at the top, and the athlete passes back through the same position that was achieved on the way up. Active tissue is maintained throughout—even during transition movement.

The kipping pull-up is an outstanding example of speed and power and requires both organic adaptation (strength and stamina) and a neurological adaptation (agility, coordination, and accuracy).

BUTTERFLY PULL-UP In this course we do not cover the butterfly pull-up. Many of the things we do in CrossFit have value as progressions from one movement to another. For example, we do front squats to help our cleans and overhead squats to help our snatches. The butterfly pull-up is considered a “dead-end progression” and does not lead to anything else. We consider it a third-wave adaptation as proposed by Stephen Seiler (see “What Is Fitness?”): an efficiency needed for competition. This has value for someone who is specializing in the sport of CrossFit. CrossFit Games athletes make up less than 1 percent of all CrossFit athletes, and the other 99 percent do not need to work on third-wave adaptations. The goal for most CrossFitters is to stay healthy and active for as long as possible. However, learning new movements and skills is incredibly fun and rewarding. If an athlete demonstrates strong proficiency in strict and kipping pull-ups, then by all means encourage and help him or her to learn the butterfly kip or other new skills.

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