Why Do CrossFitters Kip? (7 Reasons Why)

If you’ve ever watched a CrossFit workout, you’ve likely seen athletes demonstrate the kip. The question on everyone’s lips is — why do CrossFitters kip? It must be hard, right? If you’re wondering why Crossfitters kip, read this article to find out.

What is Kipping?

Kipping is a form of pull-up where the body swings between the arms in a semi-circular motion, generating momentum for the next rep. The athlete swings their body above a bar and uses energy stored in their legs and hips to kick themselves up and over the bar.

What’s the Difference Between Kipping, Butterfly, and Strict?

For a better understanding, here’s a table explaining the difference between kipping, butterfly, and strict.

Tightly grip the bar while you hang with arms extended.Swing between your shoulders.Switch between arched and hollowed positions.Lift your body in the direction of the bar while pressing down with straight arms.Pull up until your chin is higher than the bar.Push away from the bar.Tightly grip the bar while you hang with arms extended.Swing between your shoulders.Switch between arched and hollowed positions.In an arched position, drive your legs in the direction of the bar.Pull up until your chin is  higher than the bar,Move forward while lowering.Place your body in an arched position for the next step.Tightly grip the bar while you hang with arms extended.Keep the core rigid; generate strength and force from the upper body and arms only.Pull your chin higher than the bar.Repeat reps.

What CrossFit Exercises Do You Kip?

  • Band Resisted Beat Swing
  • Dips
  • Strict Pull-Ups
  • Toe Assisted Kipping Pull-Ups
  • Muscle Ups

Why Do CrossFitters Kip

Kipping Pull-ups are a staple in CrossFit, but many people have never tried them or don’t know how to do them. Here are seven reasons why CrossFitters kip.

1. To Build Endurance

Kipping is an excellent way to build stamina and cardiovascular fitness because it requires repeated movements at high intensity with little rest between sets. Every time you perform a kip, there is more weight on you than if you were just hanging from a bar or rings. Performing this exercise consistently over time can increase your endurance.

2. Increased Speed to Complete More Reps

CrossFitters move fast so that they can complete more reps in a given time. When you’re working out, your goal is to get as many rounds as possible. Because of this, CrossFitters must be able to easily transition from one movement to the next.

3. Full Body Workout

CrossFit is a full-body workout that uses functional movements. This means you’re using all your major muscle groups, not just isolating one or two. The result is an increase in lean muscle mass and strength, which helps burn more calories and fat.

4. Improves Core Strength

One of the main goals of CrossFit exercises is core strength development. A strong core helps improve balance and stability when performing other exercises such as squats or deadlifts, which can lead to better results.

5. Helps Develop Body Control and Awareness

Because CrossFitters are constantly moving around their gym space, they have to learn to control their bodies at all times. Kipping can help because it forces you to pay attention to your form while performing the exercise.

6. Increases Shoulder Mobility

Kipping is a CrossFit movement that allows you to perform pull-ups using momentum rather than strength. This allows you to work on your pull-up technique by training the muscles of your shoulders and back.

7. You become a Better Athlete

CrossFitters are known for their incredible athleticism. They’re strong, fast, agile, and flexible. Eventually, your body learns to better adapt to different types of stressors and allows you to handle more intensity. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is kipping considered cheating?

It’s a very common misconception that kipping is cheating, but it’s not. Kipping allows you to use your hips and legs to help you get up and over the bar. It’s a faster, more explosive way to get your body to the top position on a pull-up.

Are kipping or strict pull-ups harder?

Kipping muscle-ups is typically easier than strict muscle-ups, but that doesn’t mean they’re not a challenge. If you’re new to either movement, you might be better off working on one before the other. If you want to get good at kipping muscle-ups, start with strict pull-ups. Those movements will help you develop strength and technique for the kip.

Are kipping or strict dips harder?

Kipping and strict dips are both challenging exercises. The difference is that, in the kipping version, you use momentum to help you lift your body, while in the strict version, you keep your body stiff. Both exercises require a lot of upper body strength, but the kipping version might be easier for some people because it uses more momentum. 

Are kipping or strict muscle-ups harder?

Kipping muscle-ups is easier because you use momentum to get over the top. You start with an explosive kip and then use your momentum to swing yourself over the bar. 

A strict muscle-up is much harder because you have to lift your bodyweight from a dead hang position (or lower it) without using any momentum. 


The kipping motion is a highly efficient way to move your body through space. It improves performance, builds endurance, and is a sure-fire way of building core strength. While kipping may be a controversial issue, there’s no escaping that it’s effective for CrossFitters.

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