The standard pull-up used by CrossFit is the "kipping" pull-up. Kipping is a whole-body, athletic movement that demands coordination, agility, flexibility and power. The kipping pull-up recruits multiple muscles, including your hips and torso, to get your chin over the bar.
Kipping allows more work to be done in less time, thus increasing power output. It is also a full-body coordination movement when performed correctly, which applies more functionally to real-life application of pulling skills. The kipping pull-up promotes athletic development and the hip motion of an effective kip mirrors the motion of the olympic lifts/kettlebell swings. Although, strict pull-ups still have a place in training, and we do incorporate them at times.
Most people cannot do pull-ups, and that's not a problem. There are many ways to scale this movement. Below are three methods that will help you progress to doing unassisted pull-ups.
Requirements for all pull-ups: Chin comes above bar at top of rep; elbows are fully extended at bottom of rep.
Ring Rows will help you develop the strength and confidence to move on to assisted and unassisted pull-ups. These are perfect for older clients who cannot hold onto the pull-up bar.
Band-assisted pull-ups will allow you to start working on you kip without having to pull your entire weight. The hard part is getting your feet in and out of them!
The kipping pull-up - Finally, once you work you way down to the smallest band, you are ready to try the kipping pull-up! Check out these beautiful kips: