For one, there are a lot more effective ways to get strong(er) at pull ups if that is your goal. There are only two ways to increase intramuscular tension. You can lift more weight. Or you can lift with greater acceleration. This does not mean “make it seem like you are lifting with greater acceleration by utilizing momentum.”
—Think about it – the guy who can bang out even one pull up with 100lbs tied around his waist will likely have no problem performing a set of kipping pull ups. The opposite will rarely hold true, meaning the guy who can perform kipping pull ups will have a hell of a time trying to chin 100lbs!
Get Stronger Instead!!
Secondly – I don’t often see people performing kipping pull ups with much regard to shoulder position, and rather they tend to load and hang off their passive structures. This will surely agitate those who have “less than fortunately” shaped acromions (about 1/3 of the population). When performing a pull up, once should always begin with strong and forceful scapular movement (retraction and depression). I rarely see this occur with kipping pull ups.
Finally – if you are hanging out of a window and clinging on for dear life, are you really going to have room to kip? Not likely…
Either way, this is not really a post to “bash” the kipping pull up (no need to beat a dead horse).If kipping pull ups are your thing, and you have no trouble doing them, then by all means continue on good sirs!
Instead, I simply want to offer an alternative.
The plyo-pull up.
The premise is simple. Just pull with enough speed to get some air.
Simple doesn’t always mean easy… and this will take some working up to. One of the best ways to work up to this is to focus on accelerating as quickly as possible with each and every pull up you perform. Also, start performing weighted pull ups asap!
You can clap mid-air, or perhaps perform a bar transfer as you will see in the video below. Either way, plyo pull ups are a great way to develop explosive pulling power, grip strength, and for overcoming your fear of heights/flying (well, er, kinda…)
Pair plyo pull ups with heavy single arm military presses and you have yourself one fantastic upper body strength pairing. Enjoy and don’t forget to drop your comments below!