Pull Up Skill Progression

Pull ups. We love them. There is something powerful about getting your own bodyweight over something. Yes, we love the kipping pull up, too. There's something powerful about increasing work capacity in this movement. Efficient, quality movement leads to more fitness. Period.

There are some kinks in this story for some. Some come to us with weak upper body strength. Some come to us with disbelief that they will ever get a pull up, much less several. Some come to us having learned kipping pull ups without building a baseline of strength first.

It's hard to meet all these needs in every class every time. So we've developed a go-to system to tackle your goal of getting a pull up.


1. Follow the program.

2. Follow the program.

3. Follow the program.

Success is evasive when consistency is not valued. So this work is designed to be done in addition to your WOD. Skipping movements or days will render it less effective. Coach Dan has put together the following guide.

To start each month, we will introduce a new skill that will be apart of the Black Track Strength program (Tuesdays and Thursdays).​ Each skill will have 3 Levels. Each Level will have a Pre-Req and a Goal. Each Level will have a training protocol.

  1. Level 3: Pre-Req: 10 Kipping Pull ups Goal - 20 C2B Pull ups

  2. Level 2: Pre-Req: 3 Strict Pull ups Goal - 10 Kipping Pull ups

  3. Level 1: Pre-Req: na Goal - 3 Strict Pull ups


  1. Hollow Body - on the floor / on the pull up bar

  2. Grip - on the bar (knuckles up; reverse hook grip)

  3. Shoulder/elbow Tracking - elbows down to the front, just outside the shoulders WHY YOU SHOULD HAVE 3 STRICT PULL UPS BEFORE STARTING KIPPING PULL UPS

  4. I am not saying that you should discontinue doing Kipping pull-ups. I am saying that you need to strengthen your Strict pull-ups ASAP in order to reap the benefits of stronger and healthier shoulders.

  5. By building the strength to do multiple Strict pullups in a row, you also build the strength to minimize the amount of pressure and impact put on your shoulders by the kipping pull-up.

  6. The down phase is more dangerous in the kip because of your full bodyweight, plus downward momentum, plus forward momentum; this is a lot of force through your swing phase.

  7. Strengthening and mobilizing the muscles around the shoulder will help support the joint as you generate force through the kip/swing phase of the pull up.


  1. Hollow Body / Superman - superman on the floor / swings on bar (squeeze abs/glutes)

  2. Kip / Drive - superman is your loaded position (stretch reflex), swing into hollow body and drive your hips up to the bar

  3. Grip and shoulder tracking are the same as above

  4. Push away - push away from the bar at the top of the pull up to set yourself up for another swing/drive/pull up


  1. Hollow Body / Superman - swings on bar (squeeze abs/glutes); same as above

  2. Kip / Drive - superman is your loaded position (stretch reflex), swing into hollow body and drive your hips up to the bar; same as above

  3. Grip is the same as above (you may want to try a slightly wider grip for mobility)

  4. Tracking your shoulders/elbows is the same as above; your finish will be more aggressive, as you want to drive your elbows down to the ground; do not hyperextend your back reaching your chest to the bar

  5. Push away - push away from the bar at the top of the pull up to set yourself up for another swing/drive/pull up; same as above

  1. Skills

  2. Hollow Body / Hollow Rock

  3. Banded Straight Arm Pull Over / Banded Front Lever

  4. Superman / Superman Rocks

  5. Floor Kips + Swing with hip drive

  6. Hip to Bar

  7. Push away drill

  1. Mobility

  2. Lats - behind head w/ band, up/down; foam roll - cross friction

  3. Pecs - lay on foam roller w/ snow angels; extension with PVC

  4. Scap - pull downs

  5. Shoulder flexion - band stretch from pull up bar w/ neck

  6. Skin the cats

  1. Strength

  2. Negatives / Static holds - chin over / C2B

  3. Ring Rows - supine / tempo (3/3/3 sec)

  4. Strict Pull ups - band / C2B / pyramid progression

  5. Bar assisted Pull ups

  6. Supine Bar Rows

168 CTC Blvd
Unit D
Louisville, CO 80027



5:30am - 7:30pm Monday - Friday
9:00am - 12:00pm Saturday
Closed Sunday
* Closed hours vary weekly
Please check MindBody schedule
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