It may sound “too hard,” and it may sound super boring, and it may even seem like it will take way too long, but mastering strict movements SHOULD come BEFORE kipping movements.  Not the other way around.  Unfortunately, though, a lot of CrossFitters go for kipping first because it’s quicker to accomplish.


This best way to avoid risk of injury to the shoulder is to work on your strict movements before adding a kip. Of course, it’s faster to do things kipping/butterfly but if you don’t have the strength it takes to the movement strict you probably shouldn’t be doing it yet. Strict work will make you’re your shoulders and core super strong! It’s a win, win if you ask me!


Let’s talk about the why. You see, kipping and butterfly are actually very violent movements based on a lot of momentum and supposed healthy joints.  Have you ever actually looked at a shoulder joint?!  Hardly a “ball and socket” like the hip.  Th majority of your shoulder is supported by muscles and ligaments.  So, if your muscles are not strong and well-trained, and you are relying solely on the kip to get your chin over that bar, eventually something in there may give.



Just think about it this way, if you weigh 150lbs, then your load is 150lbs when you are doing a strict pull up or strict muscle up. When you are doing strict movements you are also utilizing time under tension. Kipping movements are fast, that’s why we kip when doing time sensitive WODs. When a strict movement is involved, there is no period of weightlessness in the body (unlike the kip), so your body is in constant tension with your weight. Time under tension builds strength by using concentric and eccentric contractions, which also have an added benefit of building bodily control in the movement.


Concentric contraction is when the amount of tension in the muscle increases when the muscle shortens. You can think of this type of contraction in an isolation movement such as the bicep curl. The bicep shortens while the amount of tension is increased. An eccentric contraction is the opposite; the tension is maintained as the muscle lengthens. For example, usually when people first start learning the strict pull up, they perform negatives. So you start at the top of the bar and slowly work your way down. The muscle is lengthening as it is in a state of contraction or tension. You need both types of contraction to build the strength to perform a full range of motion strict pull up or muscle up.


I think you all get the point now right? So remember this, it’s difficult to go from kipping to a strict movement, but it’s much easier to go from a strict movement to a kipping one. Kipping is just a tool to utilize to be faster during WODs.  The strict movement will translate in all most everything you do in CrossFit.

Strict first.

Fancy stuff after.

I promise, it’ll be worth it.

The hard stuff is what makes it great.





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