Licence To Kip: How To Get Your Pull-Ups


Ah, the pull-up. Something I’ve always wanted to do, mainly because I figured I would feel like a total bad-ass being able to lift my own body weight. I’d be like Rocky…but daintier. For the guys who have been training for yonks and can’t remember NOT doing a pull-up, it may not seem like a big deal, but for me pull-ups always seemed SO HARD, and I had no idea how to work up to them. Does anyone else feel the same?

When I started training at Crossfit-U in March this year, I was nowhere near having a pull-up. So when I finally got my first kipping pull-up, I was so shocked I almost fell off the bar. I DID IT, I DID IT, DID YOU SEE!? I shrieked as I victory-danced my way around the rig (yes, I get a little bit excitable).

After that, I became even more determined to keep working at it, with the aim of doing my very first WOD without the assistance of a giant stretchy rubber band. But just as I was getting the hang of kipping, Cheongy and Coach B dropped a massive bombshell: get 5 strict pull-ups before you can do kipping pull-ups in a WOD.

Ouch. I almost had a training tanty.

Anyway, I am proud to say that yes, I managed to pump out 5 strict pull-ups and thus was granted my kipping licence to go sans band in the WODs. Yay! So today I’d like to share with you some techniques and tricks I’ve learned that will hopefully also help you in your journey towards pull-up ninja-dom. Of course, if you want actual proper professional advice, I highly recommend asking your friendly coaches Ben and Cheongy. They are the true masters :P

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