Shoulder Pain with Kipping Pull-ups

by Onward Physical Therapy | July 18, 2022 |
Shoulder Pain with Kipping Pull-ups

One of the most common injuries seen in CrossFit athletes is shoulder pain, especially during the dynamic gymnastics movements performed in our training. If you are tired of dealing with shoulder pain with kipping pull-ups then we’ve got your fix!

Strict Strength for Kipping Pull-ups

I’m sure you have heard the phrase “strict before kipping” and we are here to reaffirm that statement. 

We can’t recommend enough that having the ability to perform these movements demonstrates you have the capacity to tolerate these movements. 

Without adequate shoulder strength, kipping pull-ups place a lot of load on the passive structures within the shoulder. Spend the time improving your lat strength in order to improve your pull-ups and reduce the risk of shoulder pain.

Shoulder Mobility

Kipping pull-ups require a significant amount of shoulder flexion which is the ability to reach overhead. Without sufficient range of motion, the shoulder will compensate by internally rotating and/or bending at the elbows. This movement fault often places excessive stress on certain structures in the shoulder that can lead to some discomfort when performed at high repetition. Try this drill to improve your overhead mobility. 


Fix Shoulder Pain with Kipping Pull-ups By Dialing in Your Technique

Lastly, kipping technique is key when it comes to the kipping pull-up. The use of momentum is what conserves energy for you to get more work done in a shorter amount of time. An efficient kip swing is quickly moving from the arch position into a hollow position. We often see athletes struggle to perform this well. Try this drill to clean up your kip swing


If shoulder pain during exercise, including pull-ups, is holding you back from regularly training at the gym, schedule an appointment with the Onward Physio team! We will take an in-depth look into the multiple factors involved in your shoulder pain and develop an individualized plan to get you back to what you love!