More About Learning Kips

Subject: kips!

I tried what you said and it helped but, now all I have to do is pull myself over the bar! How can I do that?

I know this sounds a little strange, but you don’t want to try to get up on the bar. During at least the first 10 of your kip attempts each day, don’t try at all to get up on the bar. You just want to start keeping track of how many in a row of early kip parts you can do correctly. That means done with a good swinging glide, toes that come within 2 – 6 inches of the bar and stop (watch your toes so you will know) and a jam that goes all the way up your straight legs to your hip (all done with your head forward).

DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT try to get up on the bar when you are doing these 10 attempts. Just do the parts of the kip that we have talked about correctly “glide, toes to the bar, jam” and keep track of what your personal record is for how many times in a row you do all three correctly in the kip.

Only count the ones where you do all three parts correctly, your legs are straight and where your head is forward. Do not count an attempt as correct if your head is back or your knees are bent (you can’t jam all the way up your leg if your legs are not straight).

Before you reach 10 correct ones in a row with your head forward, you will make a kip. It will almost see like you have made it without trying because you will make it because you have done the other parts correctly and so well.

After you have done at least 10 like that, you could try to add a strong pull at the end with your arms and a lean forward over the bar on the next ten tries. So you will be trying to go “glide, toes to the bar, jam, pull and lean”.

Then if you are still doing more kips that day, go back to not trying to get up on the bar and try to set a new record for the first three parts being done correctly.

You see, the mistake most gymnasts make, who are strong enough to do a kip, is that they are so busy trying to get up on the bar that they rush trying to get up on the bar. They try or pull to get up on the bar too soon and do not do the early kip parts correctly, which is what you must do to make the kip. And sooner or later, if you do the early parts of the kip correctly, you will end up on the bar having made your kip.

In between you can work on the last part, getting up on the bar, by working on the jump ups to the low bar, any of the straight arm strength training exercises. You should continue to work on your ab and upper body strength at least until you start making your kips in case that is part of the problem.

NOTE: After you make your first kip, don’t expect that you will make every single kip right away. You will continue to make some and not make others. You will also continue to get better and better at making them. Continue with the process that worked in helping you to make your first kip and it won’t be that long until you are making them all and ready to get your long hang kip, too.

Good luck, let me know how you do and feel free to contact us with any further questions.

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