Become an Invictus Athlete

Coach Melissa Hurley works with Invictus member, Fafa, on her kipping swing.

3 Drills for Kipping Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups
Written by Nichole Kribs

I have worked with several people who have great kipping pull-ups but struggle to get their chest to the bar for kipping chest-to-bar pull-ups. Does that sound like something you’ve struggled with? If so, then read on for my top three drills to help you achieve kipping chest-to-bar pull-ups.

Drill #1: Banded Push-Away Drill

Place a band at the top of the pull-up bar. Use assistance to place one leg into the band and pull yourself up so your chest touches the bar. Hold this position for 3 seconds then push-away from the pull-up bar. I find it helpful to imagine the pull-up bar being a barbell and you are bench pressing the pull-up bar away from your chest.

You can also use a box to step onto and assist you to get your chest to the pull-up bar.

How do I incorporate this into my regular training schedule?

Add this into your training session twice a week as a warm-up drill.

Two to Three sets of:
Banded Push-Away Drill x 4-6 reps
Rest as needed

Drill #2: Strict Pronated-Grip Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups

I can’t emphasize the importance of developing strength to complete strict chest-to-bar pull-ups. If you don’t have strict yet, then I’d recommend using a band to help you get your chest to the bar or use a partner who can assist in spotting you. Below is a video on how to safely spot a training partner.

How do I incorporate this into my regular training schedule?

Add this drill into your accessory session either at the beginning or end of your training day, two times per week.

Three sets of:
Strict Pronated-Grip Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups x 5 reps (use assistance if needed)
Rest 60 seconds

Drill #3: Bat Wings

This is an absolutely fantastic drill to incorporate into your training. This drill essentially puts you in the same position that you will be in when your chest touches the bar at the top of your kipping pull-up. Development of the upper back, along with helping reverse protracted shoulders, is a crucial piece to getting efficient kipping pull-ups while keeping your shoulders safe. When doing Bat Wings, make sure to pull the kettlebells high while squeezing the shoulder blades together so you can isolate those rhomboids.

How do I incorporate this into my regular training schedule?

Add this as a finisher in your training two-three times per week as follows.

Three sets of:
Bat Wings x 5 reps @ 1515
Rest as needed

Hopefully these drills will help you achieve kipping chest-to-bar pull-ups or improve your efficiency with them.

Also Check Out…

The Only Three Reasons You Still Can’t Do A Pull-Up

What’s The Difference Between Kipping And Butterfly Pull-Ups

Reverse Snow Angels – Purveyors Of Posture

10 Things to do to Improve Your Clean & Jerk
Written by Sage Burgener

#1: Breathe in, brace hard and use the lats that were graciously given to you. Failure to engage the lats will most likely result in an early arm bend or shift forward off the ground.

#2: Speaking of shifting forward, discontinue your day job at the strip club. It’s only teaching you to raise your hips up before your chest on your initial liftoff. The bar, your shoulders and your hips should all rise at the same time.

#3: The bar’s immediate goal is to pull you forward and down.

Don’t Overlook the Importance of Thoracic Rotation – Try these Thoracic Twists!
Video by Michele Vieux

When thoracic mobility is mentioned, most people think of foam rolling or flexion and extension drills like cat-cow. But thoracic rotation is also a very important piece of the puzzle and one that is commonly overlooked.

Try out this drill before you workout on days you go overhead, front squat, practice gymnastics or for prep for other movements that require thoracic mobility (aka, life).

For those of you who sit a good portion of your day,

Open Letter to Regionals Athletes
Written by Invictus Athlete Josh Littauer
(Originally Published July 17, 2017)

Walking into the gym on a typical Monday, Wednesday or Friday at 5:30AM, I love that I can expect a few of the same things. I know that Vanessa will have already warmed up 30 minutes, Daniel will be telling jokes and laughing before the punchline and Leah will warm everyone’s hearts as she laughs the most recognizable laugh you’ve ever heard. There are kind welcomes and hellos, questions about work, inside jokes only 5:30AM people would know,

You May Be (Emotionally) Unstable, but Your Lifts Don’t Have to Be
Written by Sage Burnener

The title of this blog post has VERY little to do with the actual content, but it’s catchy and I like it.

Because there is so much to focus on in the actual lifts, we rarely think about our feet and how they feel against the ground. And when we disconnect from our feet, it’s easy to disconnect from our legs. And if we disconnect from our legs, we’ve lost our main source of power and might as well just quit weightlifting all together (may be a bit dramatic).