What is Kipping and Why Should I do it?

A gymnastics Kip is a technique used by many CrossFitters to simply do more work faster. Kipping can be employed in a variety of movements; pull-ups, muscles ups, toes to bar, handstand push-ups etc…

It allows the athlete to use power generated from the hip joint to achieve the desired range of motion. In doing so, the athlete harnesses more power from his/her entire body, and protects the more limited and smaller muscle groups of the extremities.

An example of when this would be a helpful skill to have would be a workout with 50 pull-ups followed by 5 rope climbs. If an athlete were to do 50 strict pull-ups (that is, with no help from the hips), then attempt to climb a rope immediately after, most athletes would feel an intense sense of fatigue in the arms and shoulders. If the same athlete used an effective kipping pull-up for the set of 50, he/she would be in a better condition for the rope climb. This way the athlete would have less fatigue in his/her arms, shoulders, and back, having saved some crucial strength by using the hip joint during the pull-ups. So there is some reason behind using a kip. It’s simply more effective to get work done.

**Everyone should make sure that they have a stable shoulder and enough strength behind their strict pull-up before attempting kipping pull-ups.

December 2013 Focus – The Squat

As CrossFit Thermal unfolds, we want to start to build a foundation of strength for our members. There is no more appropriate place to start than with the squat. This month you’ll see a heavy emphasis on this movement, including lots of squatting in our workouts. You’ll also notice classes with additional technique work and practice for squatting movements. As we test and re-test our squat, and see improvement, we’ll also see that added strength and mobility translate into common CrossFit movements like thrusters and even burpess! Even if you don’t want to “squat big”, the ability to squat well, will make us able to tackle conditioning workouts with more power and speed.

This month, we’ll fill the daily blog with ideas on how to mobilize for a better squat, and what you can do on rest days or even in the office to put this crucial movement right in your wheelhouse. Stay tuned!

Intimidated by Deadlifts? Why You Shouldn't Be.

You might find it hard to believe, but in the 1800’s the deadlift was actually refered to as the “healthlift”. Many of today’s gyms and trainers have seen the movement ostreasized, dismissed as dangerous, and even banned.

I’m here to officially call a hault to the bashing of this lift and start a movement of embracing it. Well, maybe thats a bit dramatic, but this lift has to be a part of any serious strength and conditioning program, and that is an idea, that is easy to support.

Even if you don’t care how much you can lift, you can’t get through life without picking things up off the ground right? So why not be exceedingly good at that, and at the same time train hundreds of muscles in one motion?

When we deadlift with proper form, we engage our entire posterior chain. As we stand up and the movement reaches its apex we do infact engage our lower backs, this is necessary to complete the movement. Its not a bad thing to use your back as long as it is done safely and you don’t move heavy weights with only your back.

If I asked you to pick up a paperclip, you couldn’t do it safely without engaging some of the same muscle groups. As we get better and better at the deadlift, this skill becomes a motor pattern and before you know it, your body dials up the same pattern everytime you pick something up! Ever hear a co-worker say they threw their back out playing horse shoes at the company picnic?

Anything is possible, but you have a much beter chance of avoiding those injuries if you have deadlifts in your fitness program.
Besides being one of the safest movements when performed properly, deadlifts are great for asthetic benefits as well. Your core muscles must be engaged throughout the lift. So that means, if you want to see those abs, deadlifts are a much smarter choice than crunches. Stay safe, and don’t let the name fool you, deadlift should be a staple in your fitness program.

What Have I Gotten Myself Into?

Two years ago, I took my first steps into a CrossFit gym. I felt a mixture of emotions, from excitement to anxiety…mostly anxiety. What had I gotten myself into? The workout was something to the tune of “a ton of this lift, a ton of that lift, some box jumps and more pullups than I can even remember”. Needless to say, I was unable to complete the workout “as prescribed”. But for me, doing the workout as prescribed wasn’t the goal. My goal had been met when I took that first step into the gym. My goal had been met when I looked that fear in the eye and said, “I can do this!” And I did it! I may have shed a tear or two (ok, maybe more than two), but I got through that first workout, and countless workouts since then.

It’s true what they say, “It doesn’t get easier, you just get better”. I’ve never had a workout that felt easy, but I am getting better. And I look forward to getting better every time I walk into the gym. To me, CrossFit is more than working out. It is surrounding myself with amazing people, all with a similar goal. We may all take different paths to reach that goal, but we always make sure to high five each other no matter which path we’re on.



Take 10 minutes at the beginning of class to build up to a heavy hang clean that you can hit for triples. You’ll be using this weight for your EMOM. This weight needs to be heavier than what you’ll use for the Met-Con, so keep that in mind.
Before the Met-con, we’ll spend some time with Bar muscle up drills, and lighten our barbell for Hang clean and jerks.


Hang Clean


Scroll to Top