November 21, 2012

Wednesday Form: Energy Transfer

The kipping pull-up may be one of the most difficult and technical exercises to learn, but it also leads to a huge sense of accomplishment when you get it!

A successful kipping pull-up requires transfer of energy from the horizontal plane to the vertical plane and from the core to the lower extremities and then to the upper extremities.  This requires a well-choreographed symphony of movements, and muscle involvement throughout the entire body: hands, shoulders, back, chest, hips, legs – you name it!






This video shows some successful floor training and some common first-time-kicking-on-the-bar form.  We often see first-timers kicking their feet back a little too far / towards the butt, and a lack of that violent hip action that catapults the upper body above the bar.  The result is that the upper body does much more work than necessary, and the energy transfer is basically lost.

Check out these videos and others, and start working on your kips!  If you have questions or would like pointers on your kips, just ask a coach before or after class!  Getting there will take some work, but nothing worth doing is ever easy!

  • Wicasa Yatapika November 21, 2012 Reply

    Work is the transfer of energy. No energy is transferred to the bar when kipping because the bar doesn’t move. Work (W)=fd, since d=0 in this case no work is being done on the bar. In other words the energy in the bar is not changing, but yet you become tired. The transfer of energy is entirely within your own muscles as they convert chemical energy into heat and mechanical (kinetic) energy as you move through the horizontal plane. Each muscle cells contraction is generated by millions of molecules which take turns supporting the tension in your muscles. As the molecules switch on and off they move, and since they move while exerting a force, they are doing work. This work is being done on one molecule in a muscle cell on another.

    When you lift yourself upward over the bar, in the vertical plane, your arms do positive work on your body, transferring chemical energy into gravitational potential energy and heat. On the way back down, in the vertical plane, the arms’ work is negative; the gravitational potential energy is transformed into heat. As you move through the horizontal plane some of the gravitational potential energy is transformed into kinetic energy. In exercise physiology on the way up and as you move through the horizontal plane you are performing a concentric exercise and on the way down an eccentric exercise. When hanging on the bar with no movement you are performing an isometric exercise…

    • g
      Gretch November 21, 2012 Reply

      Thanks for clearing that up JJ! I was wracking my brain for the equations for work, power and momentum to no avail… 🙂

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