Trying so hard to get my kip

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sereena shorty

Hey, I've been trying to get my kip for a while. Now everyone says that I have a great glide and bring my legs to the bar, then I push down on the bar, when I become eye level with the bar I just fall. Everyone says i'm so close. I've heard to pull up the pants, which doesn't work with me. Then they say get your shoulders over the bar. I also try to switch my grip. Also, I've been doing abdominal(tuck ups) every night and am overall pretty strong. Please help me!!!! Any excercises or tips would be so appreciated.


Work the static hold of just holding your feet to the bar from a leg lift. Focus on head in as well. Try to get this to 20s. It isn't as easy as it sounds.

How's your upper body strength, dips and pullups wise?

Don't just bring your legs to the bar after the full extension of the glide. Snap them back and try those toes/ankles to the bar as long as you can and not letting them just drop.

You also may need to be patient in pushing the arms down because if you push too soon, it will just push you away.

Nice glide, snap toes back to the bar, wait on it and push.


if your glide is good and you are bringing your feet/ankles to the bar correctly, then you're probably trying to whip the bar from your ankles straight to your hips.
that's not gonna work, because your arms are going to keep you too far away from the bar--but don't bend your arms to counteract this.

so try to glide the bar from your toes to your hips--that's what people mean whenever they say "pull up your pants." and then when your pants are pulled up, that's when you lean over the bar--the things the people are telling you to do are right, but they're giving you the instructions in the wrong order.

so remember, glide out, bring toes to the bar, then glide the bar from your toes to your knees to your hips, then lean over the bar and finish your routine.

hope this advice helps!
just don't give up, everyone struggles on kips.
Sep 10, 2008
I am having trouble getting my kip back, and I think it's the waiting part. I'm impatient & I just want to be up on the bar. When I get back to the gym I'll try that out.


Once one of my guys decided to be patient, hold the V as long as possible and then push, he learned he could kip connected cast with straight arms for that L5 bonus which will really helped out. Also his AA wasn't too great, so it was good that he killed at HB and V at least, especially on HB as he got both the connected kip cast (with straight arms for no deductions) and the free hip for 4/10ths of bonus.

If you don't wait on it, the pushing motion will arrive you at an angle that is pushing yourself away from the bar than pushing on top of it. Of course, snapping back the legs as fast as possible and holding the toes there helps a lot besides not breaking the shoulder angle until it's necessary.
Nov 29, 2008
Minn eee sooo ta! :)
Kips just take practice, lots and lots of practice. It took me a long time to get mine and i had tried everything, and one day, i just started making them. Weird i know, but thats just how it happened. So keep trying and don't give up. U'll get it eventually!
Sep 9, 2007
Have you tried using a kip machine? I swear that got me my kip.

Try tying a rope or something just below the bar, and hook your feet on it. Practice straight arm kips so that you end up standing on the rope supported by the bar.

Or, stand on something about waist height, then jump to the high bar so that your shoulders are over it (straight armed front support).

sereena shorty


Well, If gotten closer I'm litterally on the bar, but I fall I just can't switch my wrists. When should you switch your wrists and how? Everyone is always like to me this is the time that your going to get your kip. Your soooo close. And then their like just switch your wrists and you'll stay up.
Oct 12, 2008
Hey, I've been trying to get my kip for a while. Now everyone says that I have a great glide and bring my legs to the bar, then I push down on the bar, when I become eye level with the bar I just fall. Everyone says i'm so close. I've heard to pull up the pants, which doesn't work with me. Then they say get your shoulders over the bar. I also try to switch my grip. Also, I've been doing abdominal(tuck ups) every night and am overall pretty strong. Please help me!!!! Any excercises or tips would be so appreciated.

During a kip, after you pull your legs to the bar you should be PULLING on the bar, this may be your problem. That is one reason why many coaches use the "pull up your pants" analogy.
Mar 24, 2008
I am 16 and I only just got my kip. I think the best advise would be to just keep on going because you will get it in the end... just dont give up!!!!
kips are really hard to get, and took me forever. Just try to keep patient, and keep practicing. One drill that helped me, though is to stand on a mat so that the bar is about at your hips when you stand up. Then lean back you are below the bar, and pull yourself up onto the bar. This is about the same as a kip machine, just if you don't have one, but I do think that a kip machine works a lot better, and is easier to explain. Hope this helps.


Feb 22, 2007
You ought to try and throw up a video. That would allow for a quick assessment.

Here are the issues that I see most often...

1) Insufficient height and extension on the glide.

If the glide swing does not swing up high enough, when you bring the feet to the bar, the hips move backward too much and it's pretty much impossible to make the kip or at least to make a good one. Ideally, I like for the glide to swing straight out from the bar. The "old school" method of just extending with the feet near the ground is just that - "old school." Swinging a bigger glide allows for more swing momentum and allows you to turn the kip into more of a "swing" skill.

Often, the gymnast will get loose in their butt and this will cause an early pike of the feet to the bar. Again, this will pull the hips backwards and pretty much ruin your chances of making the skill or doing a good kip if you're lucky enough to make it.

In addition, often the gymnast will rush the kipping part of the glide kip and this again causes an insufficient extension at the end of the glide. I try to get the kids to think of the skill from a 1......2-3 rhythm standpoint. The number 1 represents the long, extended glide swing. The 2-3 represents the quick snapping of the toes/feet to the bar and the kipping action itself. That part is very quick while the glide action takes a little longer to allow for optimal swing and extension.

2) Pushing vs. Pulling

The kip is a "pulling" skill through 99% of it. At the very end of the skill when you're nearly in front support, you shift the hands to finish it off.

3) Head position on the glide

Often, the gymnast lets the head stick out or lay back at the end of the glide or as the toes are coming to the bar. This arches the chest and causes all sorts of problems. Furthermore, when kids lose their grip while kipping or their hand slips off, this is often the root of the problem in my opinion in addition to probably pushing versus pulling, too. That head should stay neutral and between the arms. Throughout most of the glide...just follow the toes with your eyes and follow them as they come back into the bar.

These are probably three of the most common problems that I see - off the top of my head at the moment, anyway. Now, these things often relate to a few other problems...but, those other problems are usually symptoms of these things.


kip drill help

i just got my kip tuesday and all this time i was pushing on the bar thinking i was going to push it down to my hips, but actually i should have been pulling this whole time. all you have to do is pull on the bar. and make sure your glide is TOTALLY stretched out. if it's not it wont do any good to pull. the pull up tour pants drills really helped me. lay on the ground with a broomstick or anything that resembles the bar and pull it down to your toes then jerk it up really fast to your hips, with straight arms. good luck!! :)


Remember not to rush the kip. Make sure you get the glide, the feet to the bar, and a strong but gentle pull on the bar by your arms. Also, in our gym, we put a tissue in the girls mouth and you have to try to spit it out over the bar. Just a long time tradition:D but it may be worth a try
got really confused then lol didnt know what a kip was... in the UK we call them upstarts lol... i would have suggested probably about the same as all the other comments so i wont repeat the same again but we have a few fun ways at our gym to learn upstarts.
Some one stands under the high bar and throws a ball that you have to head butt in the last part of the upstart to make your head and shoulders pull you over the bar. same sort of thing is achieved if you try and go into a forward hip circle after the upstart. it makes some of our girls think more about the forward hip circle so their brain doesnt push the bar away from them.
Another thing is to try jumping off something a bit higher than usual to give you a bit more swing into it which may give you a bit more momentum to get over the bar. Once you've got the technique then you can take it away. We use a training 3/4 beam on a medium height single bar or two springboards on a low bar.
Other than that upstarts just come with practice i remember spending hours learning how to upstarts with my friends having a comp to see who could do it first :D
Hope i helped :p
Aj x
Feb 3, 2009
There's one exercise I began doing that made my kips, which I used to have the problem of "pushing away" on, better. Actually, very strong. I would just hang from the high bar ( I had one at home and would do as many reps as I could to fatigue) and from the hang, pull with straight arms as hard as I could which gives you a small lift. If you do that hanging straight arm pull, over and over, eventually you will be lifting higher and higher, like for an uprise. This exercise not only improved my kips, but developed the strength to do very strong straddle cut catches. My coach used to make the girls watch me do this exercise saying "THAT is the way to develop the arm and shoulder strength for kips and straddle cut catches". Try it. Do it everyday for weeks and you'll see your strength improve. Once I could do more than 12 reps of this exercise easily, I added ankle weights strapped together and placed around my waist. It made the exercise harder and I became even stronger. I hope this advice helps. Work hard and never, ever give up!


make sure you let your glide go all the way out before you kip. it helps to add more power when you snap up your legs. also make sure that your legs stay close to the bar.
Apr 12, 2010
SAME WITH ME! I actually get almost all the way to front support, but then I have bad technique (I'm arched) so I fall off. Either that or my arms are bent. Everyone says "OH MY GOD YOU ARE SO CLOSE", even my coach, who says "I think you're strong enough to do this now and you might make it by yourself!" and I get all excited thinking "This is the one I'm going to make!" but then I fall :( It's so annoying! Well good luck, and wish me luck too! :)
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