The (Baseless) Kip Debate

The comments section of nearly any viral video on the internet that features someone doing a kipping variation of a pull up will have its fair share of trolling statements. “And, not one pull up was done that day,” they’ll condescendingly say. Here’s the deal. There is no debate. It’s not even that “the debate is over,” per se. It’s that there was never a debate to begin with.

Separate of the fact that this anti-kipping stance generally comes from someone who doesn’t understand its functional nature and also usually hasn’t defined what “strict” is to begin with, the fact of the matter is the kipping pull up and the strict pull up are different exercises. Period. Arguing otherwise would be about as meaningless as arguing whether the front squat or the back squat is “right”.

There are important, universal relevances to both the strict bodyweight pulling mechanics of the strict pull up and the bodyweight pulling mechanics of a kipping pull up. One is not better than the other. They are simply different. There’s a time and place in which a wonderful argument could be made for both movements.

Ironically, people seem to take aim more fiercely at the kipping pull up more so than the strict pull up. Meanwhile, the strict pull up is bastardized with unpunished common faults just as much as the kipping alternative. I find it difficult to listen to your righteous hatred of the kipping pull up while you bend your knees and slightly raise your hips to complete your horrendous interpretation of a “strict” pull up.

This well-travelled conversation in fitness would be much better suited with a focus on quality of both variations. I will be sure to let you all know when I hear a quality argument from a kipping-pull-up-hater who moves well in the strict pull up. Until then, let’s just get better at both, shall we?


Logan Gelbrich


1/3/19 WOD

Complete the following for reps:
:60 Max Calories Row

Then, EMOM 18
Min 1: 250m Row
Min 2: 15 Wall Balls (20/14)
Min 3: 30 Double Unders