Did you hear about tilting? Did you see anyone at your CrossFit box? Tilting is essentially a jerking or jerking of your body from the toes to the head to increase the momentum. Its roots are in a skill used by competitive gymnasts to make the bar routine run smoother – think of Simone Biles or Laurie Hernandez on the uneven bars. It was never used to build the sportiness of an everyday athlete. So why has Kipping become "mainstream" and appeared in some of your training courses and in your Instagram feed?
Tilting pull-ups, tilting toe-to-toe bars, tilting handstand push-ups, etc. Only. Why? Serious. I want to understand why people in everyday life tipping over their fitness training instead of doing strict versions of these exercises that develop strength throughout the range of motion (concentric, contractive, isometric, static, and eccentric, lengthen). What's the point? I asked people who do it. I have read articles for articles about it from different experts. So what is the training logic behind the kip and should you include it in your fitness routine or completely avoid it? (Related: The pull-up training that almost killed me)
Many advocates will tell you that a tipping version of an exercise is very different from the strict version, and therefore both. Sounds okay, right? However, like are they different and are there ways to more safely use the "benefits" of tipping?
The Argument for and Against Tipping
Proponents argue that tipping gives you more allowed reps when using AMRAP (as many reps as possible). But is that really the point of the exercise? Do more repetitions? Or does it make sense to build functional strength? Of course, I would say that the latter is much more important for your physical activity. When do you have to pull yourself up more than 50 times in a row? Exactly. This is not a functional movement or a functional workout. This is repeated stress that is actually very bad for the body.
Functional training is about training your body so that you can perform the activities of your everyday life without injury. Anyone can get started, right? And even if you had to do such a move, my first argument is that the rigorous versions of these movements allow you to build functional strength far better than running through it. For example, if you perform toe-to-bar without vibration, core strength will be much greater than tilting or swinging. And I would say the same thing for virtually every movement that skips the rigorous version of the exercise. Secondly, some argue that tipping promotes body control because you need to use more muscle in a tipping pull-up than with a strict pull-up. (Related: 6 reasons why your first pull-up has not yet taken place)
They work synergistically in the right rhythm to perform a tipping exercise. My counterargument: If you want to use multiple muscle groups in an exercise, there are far more effective ways to achieve synergy between the upper and lower body. Here are just a few examples: thrusters, burpees, most landmine drills, rotary hammers, wood chippers, masonry balls, push-ups, etc.
Third, since tilting is an explosive movement, it theoretically builds strength because it requires speed and power to carry it out. Once again my counter is the same: there are better and safer ways to do it. In fact, many of the exercises listed above are explosive strength building exercises, and there are literally dozens of other examples that you can take part in without exposing yourself to the risk of injury.
The biggest reason you should reject Kipping
violation. Injury. Injury.
SLAP tear (a rupture in the labrum or protective cartilage around the shoulder joint), other labrum problems, muscle tension, etc. These injuries are expensive and can lead you out of the gym for months. It can be argued that with a good base of sportiness and proper shape these injuries can be avoided. I say, however, that the forces on the shoulder and lower spine during tilting are extremely high, so the risk is even for experienced athletes. This is especially true if you repeatedly repeat this pattern as an exercise rather than as an intermittent skill that you are working towards. (See also: Jillian Michaels communicates what she thinks about your apology in order not to work)
If you still are not sure how I feel about tilting, let me repeat the main point again: There are far safer and more effective ways to reap the supposed benefits of tipping. Why take the risk?