The Chicken or The Egg

The Chicken or The Egg

The Chicken or the Egg?

A question we are often asked throughout our lifetime; What came first , the chicken or the egg?  Who knows and who really cares, what we really want to know is what came first, strict or the kip?  I cannot count on two hands how often I am asked this question.  I cannot speak on behalf of all gyms but I can speak for ours and what should be a no brainer answer.  With key focus on the pull up, each skill that can be kipped has a multitude of progressions that prepare our bodies for the kip and intensity of such movement.  It is important to have consistency in each progression and to practice them regularly.  

So what is the answer? The strict or the kip.

When it comes to pull ups and shoulder injuries what do we hear all too often? “ I hurt my shoulder doing kipping pull ups.”  What will I immediately ask? “  How many strict pull ups can you do in a row?”.  Not “can you do a strict pull up?” But “How many?”  Having one strict pull up does NOT give you a free pass into the world of kipping pull -ups.  There has to be a foundation of strength and shoulder stability built before a kip can be considered.  

Plain and simple, the strict movement comes before the kipping movement. The kipping will make the movement easier but not safer for the athlete. Now, lets all take a moment of silence for the shoulders that were ruined due to lack of proper coaching.  The kip requires a certain amount of body awareness as well as core momentum to generate an efficient movement.  The strict movement requires pure strength as it isolates a specific muscle group. That base must be created before adding inertia to the skill.  Side bar, “strict” does not have to be 100% strict in a perfect hollow body position, a little knee pump to get your chin over the bar is not going to ruin your shoulders.

Lets break it down, when we preform a strict skill such as a pull up or muscle up, we are using our body weight as our load. So, if you weight 150# your load for that movement will be 150# with added time under tension.  When kipping we have a moment of weightlessness that we don’t get with our strict movement. The concentric and eccentric aspects of the strict movement increase strength and body awareness. These strict movements are preparing our smaller muscles for the intensity of the kip. 

Come on out to gymnasty class where we will review numerous amounts of progressions for kipping pull -ups and additional kipping movements. You will establish a base technique for the kipping movements and Jesse will build up your swoles for the strict movements.  Together we will get you where you want to be.  The key is consistency and perfect technique.

Lacey Truelove is the head gymnastics coach at West London CrossFit and finished as the top female in London Ontario after the CrossFit open.



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