In an earlier article we discussed the chest to close pull-up, a bodyweight movement that’s seen in both strict and kipping forms; using the reason for back development, gymnastic ad competitive fitness skill, as well as grip training. In the below article we’ll offer a brief recap of both the strict and kipping chest to close pull-up, review exercise video demonstrations, and discuss the main benefits of the chest to close pull-up (both strict and kipping variations).

Chest to Bar Pull-Ups Variations

The chest to close pull-up is comparable to the conventional strict or kipping pull-up, nevertheless the range of motion is slightly increased to take into account the lifter pulling themselves a few more inches higher to touch the chest area ot the bar. By doing this, pull-up strength and skill is increase offering coaches and athletes a logical progression from a standard strict or kipping pull-up.

Strict Chest to close Pull-Up

In the below video, the strict chest to close pull-up is shown. Please note that the lifter must touch their chest to the bar, which increases the upper back engagement and range of motion and demands greater pulling strength.

Kipping Chest to Bar Pull-Up

Like the strict chest to bar pull-up, this exercise entails the lifter to touch their chest from the barbell, enhancing the demands and range of motion. In this variation however, the lifter can use a kip to improve the involvement of the body and momentum, which decreases the upper body strength demands yet increases the need for midline stability, mobility, body awareness, and grip/muscular endurance (often due to higher repetitions having the ability to be performed).

4 Benefits of Chest to Bar Pull-Ups

Below are four benefits of the strict and/or kipping chest to bar pull-up. Many of these benefits are also inherent to the standard pull-up, however, the addition of the kip does offer some unique benefits for coaches and athletes to consider.

Muscle Hypertrophy and Strength (Strict)

While both movements can produce increases in muscular strength and hypertrophy (growth), the strict pull-up might have the slight edge over the kipping version. Unlike the kipping chest to bar pull-up, the strict version uses minimal body momentum which increases the requirement for upper back, arm, and overall pulling strength to put the chest area towards the bar. Having said that, the kipping chest to close pull-up may be used to help some lifters increase volume (when you are able to perform more repetitions that strict versions); therefore increasing muscular damage and muscle growth.

Body Awareness and Fluidity (Kipping)

Bodyweight training forces greater awareness, midline control, and universal stability. The addition of the kip to the chest to bar pull-up reinforces these attributes as a lifter must find fluidity in their movements and stay in tune with their mechanics. This timing and proprioception/body awareness is essential for gymnastic movements and competitive fitness workouts.

Gymnastic and Competitive Fitness Application (Both)

Gymnastics and competitive fitness both include chest to close pull-ups either directly in workouts/competition and/or as a precursor movement with other competitive routines. The ability to perform both strict and kipping is essential for both populations, as failure to do so means lower competitive scores and wherewithal to progress onto more complicated movements(for example muscle ups).

Grip Endurance

Higher rep-based training, especially with the kip, creates high amounts of eccentric loading to the forearms and grip muscles (even more to ensure that hanging from the bar). Both the strict and kipping chest to close pull-up can increase grip strength and endurance, however due to the high-rep and ballistic cycling (kipping), the need for grip strength and endurance is slightly higher within the kipping chest to bar pull-up.

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