How to Turn Kipping Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups Into Butterfly Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups

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Kipping and Butterfly Chest-To-Bar (C2B) Pull-Ups are very closely related, though it may seem like Butterfly is much more complicated. Here’s how to break it down in your mind and movement pattern so you can transition from the standard, but slower, kipping movement to the smoother and speedier butterfly version.

While on the descent on a Kipping C2B, driving your toes backward and upward behind you while pushing your hips forward (arched position with butt squeezed tight) you will begin to initiate the Butterfly pattern.  Due to this shift in weight with your legs starting in front of you on the ascent portion of the Pull-Up and then pulling them behind you after connecting your chest to the bar, your upper body will naturally go the forward direction causing your feet and chest to oppose each other.  This opposition is actually what causes the cyclical appearance of the Butterfly Pull-Up.  

Related to opposition, those who may find that doing Butterfly Pull-Ups or Chest-To-Bar Pull-Ups throw their body into an off-balance swing are typically returning their feet beneath their chest while their chest is still behind the bar.  If this is happening you must understand that it is in fact the opposition of the chest and feet that allow the rhythm to continue uninterrupted, and the chest cannot move forward if the bar is in its way.  It is necessary to wait until the bar is no longer in front of the chest to bend the legs and drive the toes back to achieve a smooth Butterfly Kip. The reverse pull of the legs must also be done quickly as the amount of time you have before the bottom of the Pull-Up is much less now that your body has left the bar and began its descent.

For more tips and tricks for your gymnastics skills, join the Invictus Gymnastics online program where I provide not only the programming for three different levels, but also the movement tutorials and progressions like this as well as feedback on any videos you send me of you giving them a try!

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