Recently, addition of a gymnastics glide kip to a standard pull-up (SPU) has resulted in the kipping pull-up (KPU). Changes in muscle activation and kinematics were evaluated with eleven athletes performing sets of 5 SPU and 5 KPU. Surface electromyography of upper body and lower body muscles was recorded along with movement kinematics obtained via markers and motion tracking software. Most kinematic variables were significantly higher in the KPU including (KPU minus SPU deg): Max hip angle (48.8° ± 6.8°, p < 0.001) and max knee angle (56.5° ± 11.3°, p < 0.001). The recruitment of core and lower body muscles was significantly higher in the KPU (% MVIC increase): rectus abdominis (28.7 ± 4.7%, p < 0.001), external oblique (21.8 ± 4.1%, p < 0.001), iliopsoas (26.1 ± 5.5%, p = 0.001) and tensor fasciae latae (13.5 ± 2.3%, p < 0.001). Correspondingly, the biceps brachii had lower activation in the KPU (% MVIC decrease): (26.7 ± 0.6%, p = 0.006). Depending on the athlete's goal, they may elect to perform an SPU for higher upper body muscle activation; or the KPU for more full-body activation with the potential to perform more repetitions through reduced upper body fatigue.
Keywords: EMG; athletic performance; exercise; motion analysis; training.