There is an amount of general strength required in order perform kipping pull ups, so prioritize that strength first. I would like to see everyone in the gym have the ability to do about 3-5 dead hang pull ups, minimum! If you do not have that strength, get after it! Kipping is cool, but dead hangs are much cooler, and eliminate the argument that kipping pull ups are "cheating." Besides, if you have the strength to do 20 deadhangs, you can probably learn to kip a metric ton of pull ups, but the reverse probably isnt going to happen.
5 Ways to develop your dead hang pull up strength:
1. Negatives- Start with your chin over the bar, and control the descent of your body to a full extension of your arms. The descent should take about 5 seconds. Work on a LOW VOLUME of these, something like 5 sets of 3 reps, two times a week.
2. Assisted Pull Ups- Set up a box under the bar at a height that allows you to have your chin over the bar when fully standing. Bend your knees and keep your back and hips straight while your feet are flat on the box. Perform the pull up while assisting yourself only as much as needed to pull your chin over the bar. This technique is best when you can not perform any pull ups at all. 3 sets of 8-12 reps is good here, two-three times a week.
3. Band Assisted- Bands decrease the amount of weight you're lifting. The bigger the band, the more assistance you're getting. Be sure that you use a full range of motion on each rep. These can be done in 3 sets of 8-12 reps, using the smallest band needed to complete the reps, a few times a week. As the sets become easier, use a smaller band, until the smallest band allows you to complete the sets. By this time, you may have a pull up or two!
4. Chin Ups- The physics of the movement make chin ups (palms facing towards you) easier than pull ups (palms facing away). If you haven't nailed a pull up yet, try doing chin ups instead. Make sure you use full range of motion- athletes often fail to fully extend at the bottom. When doing a chin up drive your elbows towards the ground.
5. Volume- Once you can perform a pull up, what you need to do is perform lots of them. Volume is the key to building the strength and muscle endurance. Install a pull up bar in front of the fridge, and every time you open it do a pull up! Here are some more ways to increase volume...
On the Minute (OTM): Perform 1 pull up on the minute, each minute for ten minutes. Over time, increase the number to 2 OTM, then 3, etc. Your sets may look something like 2,2,2,2,1,1,1,1,1,1. as you become stronger. That's fine. Stay with 2 until you are able to complete all ten sets, then move up to 3 OTM.
Pyramids: Perform 1 then 2, then 3, then 4, then 5, etc. until you fail to climb by one rep (that's failing a set). Once you fail, work your way back down. Rest 1 to 1:30 between each set. If you did the 1 to 5 pyramid above, you've completed 25 pull ups! You can work up to taller pyramids; a 1 to 10 pyramid is 100 pull ups...
Once you have the strength to perform 5 dead hangs, add your name to the board, start working on your kip, and make your next goal 10 dead hangs!
Here's some videos for those of you who are ready to kip...
Hatch Squats- Week 7, Day 2
Back Squat- 1x4 @ 70%, 1x4 @ 75%, 1x4 @ 80%, 1x4 @ 85%
Front Squat- 1x5 @ 60%, 1x5 @ 65%, 2x5 @ 70%
3 Power Clean, 155#
10 Pull Ups
Rest 1 minute
(The total effort for each round should be about one minute. Scale number of pull ups and/or burpees to meet this time frame if needed.)