CrossFit Five Cities

Butterfly Pull-Up INTRO

Tuesday's Coach's Tip brought to you by Coach Kelsey...

"Over the next couple months we will be breaking down one of my favorite gymnastics movements: The Butterfly Pull-up. This is a very complex movement that, when an athlete has all of the appropriate structural strength and stability needed to perform this movement safely, can greatly increase your efficiency in a WOD setting.

So let's do a quick break down.

Why butterfly pull-ups? The butterfly pull-up is the most dynamic variation of a pull-up. Compared to a kipping pull-up it decreases half of your cycle by creating a rhythmic circular motion, which in turn, speeds up your pull-up. Now we know in Crossfit, that butterfly pull-up- and even kipping pull-ups get a lot of flack for not being “real pull-ups.” Remember butterfly pull-ups are used for a different conditioning modality than what the world would consider a “real pull-up,” or what we call, a strict pull-up. Strict pull-ups, as we teach on a regular basis at C5, are used to increase muscular strength. The butterfly pull-up, used in a WOD is used to increase your muscular endurance. The strength, agility, coordination, and power needed to perform multiple repetitions in a WOD setting will increase your metabolic conditioning,(ie your lungs and heart) and muscular endurance.

What do I need to have in order to do a butterfly pull-up? First and foremost, you need to be able to do a strict pull-up, preferably multiple. You are setting yourself up for injury if your delts, scaps, traps, lats, rhomboids-essentially all of the bones, tendons, and muscles that make up your shoulder and beyond-if they are not strong enough to support the movement. You should also have the range of motion and coordination to be able to perform multiple kipping pull-ups. If you have tight shoulder joints and muscles, again you are setting yourself up for injury if you rush the movement under tension trying to perform butterfly pull-ups.

If you feel that you are ready and want to learn how to execute butterfly pull-ups, spend the next month working on your strict strength, mobility, coordination and shoulder range of motion so that when Tip #1 comes out at the beginning of August, you will be ready to start practicing and be on your way to achieving butterfly pull-ups!"

Looking for inspiration?  Look no further!