A New Respect for Strict Pull-Ups – by Patrick Burke, MBS CrossFit

mbsThe link to Patrick Burke’s post – A new respect for pull-ups – Workout 3

The full post is copied below.

I’ve always been a fan of the pull-up. Along with the push-up, they are the best pair of movements that nearly everyone has access to do at any time they please. In the Marine Corps, males were required to do 3 pull-ups on the annual physical fitness test, and could get a perfect score with 20. In any higher-level law enforcement or military fitness test, you’ll see that a minimum number of strict pull-ups are required. The pull-up has so much real-world applicability, that there is potential for your ability to do one could actually save your life!

Beyond being arguably one of the most functional movements we can do in the gym (or anywhere), it is a great developer of upper body size and strength. Either done at body-weight or with assistance, the entire trunk, shoulders, arms, and hands are all working and getting stronger.

How is it, that this beautiful movement with so many benefits to upper body strength and development not be practiced nearly every day?!!

When developing this year’s Turkey Challenge workouts, I was looking to this past year’s CrossFit Games and I was really happy with the emphasis on gymnastics strength, and I wanted to be able to deliver some of that in our TC this year. I’ve always thought about strict pull-ups being in a competition, but they are unfortunately really hard to judge. So, when Sherm from Ethikon fitness came along with a spinning pull-up bar, I got excited because I knew we could test the “strength required” for the strict pull-up and get around the difficult judging standards. Additionally, I could expose more of the community to the benefits of the strict pull-up and maybe give them reason to practice this movement more often (as opposed to always doing kipping pull-ups).

So, whether you do kipping, butterfly, frog-kip, or strict pull-ups in the competition, we are testing the strength of your grip, shoulders, and back at a level that is equivalent to strict pull-ups.

 

**Safety reminder**

I am putting this out there, not to scare anyone, but to make you aware that this is a new movement disguised as an old one. Meaning, you cannot hop on the bar like you would a stable pull-up bar. You cannot kip like you would on a stable pull-up bar. I don’t think of this movement any different than a pair of rings hanging from a strap off the ceiling. The rings are not stabilized…you must stabilize them by pinning them to your body. If not, you will fall to the ground. This spinning pull-up bar must be stabilized with your grip and forearms. Additionally, your grip is going to fatigue faster than it would on a regular pull-up bar. But, just like you “feel” on an extended set on a stable pull-up bar, you will “feel” your grip fatiguing and you can come off the bar when needed. Watch this explanation video.

 

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