Pull-Up May – Step Three, The Kipping Bridge
Written by Heather Hippensteel
You have arrived at step 3 of your pull-up progression! By now, I’m sure you all have been practicing your perfect hollow positions on the floor (week 1). And some of you may have sore lats and abs from practicing that hollow position and lat engagement on the bar and learning how to pull your body behind the bar (week 2). This week we are going to move back to the floor and learn how to utilize our hips by learning the kipping bridge drill.
This drill teaches the importance of fully opening and using the hips during a pull-up. The goal of this drill is to master the aggressive hip drive needed to catapult your chin above the bar to get that final pop up and over the bar.
1. Start by lying on your back, hands by your sides, knees bent, and feet flat on the floor.
2. Bring your knees and hips back towards your shoulders.
3. Quickly kick back over into a bridge position and pop your hips towards the ceiling. Think about arcing your feet up and over in the shape of a rainbow and then slamming your feet into the ground. This is a very fast, aggressive motion. Activate your glutes at the top, to ensure full extension of the hips. The ending position should look like this:
Mastering this hip drive is imperative to learning to the kipping pull up. With an aggressive popping of the hips, you are one step closer to getting that first pull-up!
Once you get the hang of this drill on the floor, you can move back to the bar and practice this hip drive. Make sure you practice a few of the drills from last week because this will put you in a good position to access your hips for the kip. Once your body is pulled behind the bar, with hips high and lats engaged, you can slightly bend the knees and aggressively pop your hips to propel you over the bar, just like you did on the floor. If done correctly, you should have so much momentum that your chin is up and over the bar.
It might take a few tries to get the timing to feel right, but with some practice you’ll be popping those hips and getting that chin over the bar with ease!
Later this week, in our final installment of pull-up May, we will talk about the last phase in a kipping pull up, the push away.