22 Jul Shoulder Pain With Kipping Pull-ups
One of the most common problems I treat with CrossFit athletes is shoulder pain with kipping pull-ups. This injury can happen for several different reasons, as I discuss with my Performance Plus Programming partner, Pamela Gagnon.
Common Areas Leading to Shoulder Pain With Kipping Pull-ups
- Lack of strict pull-up strength: if you don’t have the ability to do 3-5 strict pull-ups, you won’t have the strength to control your bodyweight as you come down from the top of a strict pull-up. This will overload the soft tissues of the shoulder.
- Lack of good kipping form: too many athletes use a hip generated kip rather than controlling the kip using their shoulder. This results in them throwing extra force through the shoulder joint.
- Too much volume: as with anything, doing too much too fast will put more load on tissues than they are prepared for. This commonly happens with pull-ups.
Drills to Help Reduce Shoulder Pain With Kipping Pull-ups
#1. Improve kipping mechanics
This first drill to help reduce shoulder pain with kipping pull-ups is from @DrivePT.com is great for teaching athletes to more effectively perform a kip swing by giving them something to push forward and backward into to improve the hollow and arch position while hanging from a bar.
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Kip Control Drill for Kipping pull-ups from @drivept.co . Works on: ✔️midline control ✔️lat activation & control ✔️grip strength & endurance ⏩⏩⏩⏩⏩⏩⏩⏩⏩⏩⏩⏩⏩⏩⏩⏩ Dosage: 2-3 sets of 10 kip swings Tips for excellence👌🏼👌🏼👌🏼👌🏼👌🏼👌🏼 ✨You should contact both bands at the same time in the arch position if you are doing the drill correctly ✨You should not contact the bands in the hollow position (if you do, you are over flexing/over swinging hips) ✨Eyes forward throughout ✨Your midline should be tight throughout ✨Feet should be together at all times (mine break in the video in the arch position; use a towel to break this habit. I am still working on this personally in workouts) ⏩⏩⏩⏩⏩⏩⏩⏩⏩⏩⏩⏩⏩⏩⏩⏩ Set up tip: one J hook needs to be on the outside of rig and one J hook on the inside. #drivephysicaltherapy #saynotofloppykipping #fitnessmotivation
#2. Improve hollow & arch mechanics on the ground
If your kipping mechanics are bad while hanging from the rig there is a good chance that you also need to address your hollow & arch control on the floor. Far too often, people look like they are doing a good hollow body position, but very frequently, they aren’t. I discuss this further in this article on my website and this CrossFit Journal article.
#3. Improve strict pull-up strength
As previously mentioned, if you can’t control a motion at slow speeds, you surely aren’t going to control them at faster speeds. Building strict pull-up strength is the key to maximizing performance and staying injury-free.
If you don’t have strict pull-ups yet I’d highly recommend our First Pull-Up Program, which has helped hundreds get their first!
I’d also recommend ditching the exercise bands and start doing toe assisted pull-ups as they do a better job building pull-up strength through the entire range of motion of the pull-up, whereas bands help too much as the bottom of the rep.
If you are dealing with shoulder pain with kipping pull-ups and need a structured rehab plan to get back into the swing of things, look into our options for scheduling in-person and virtual assessments.