What This Chiropractor and CrossFit Coach Had to Say About Jillian Michaels’ Take On Kipping

A couple months ago, Jillian Michaels opened up to us about her issues with CrossFit-kipping, in particular. For those who might not know, kipping is a movement that uses bucking or jerking to utilize momentum in an effort to complete an exercise (typically aiming for a high number of reps in a restricted time frame). In kipping pull-ups, specifically, which is what Michaels had the most beef with, the movement is used to help you lift your chin above the bar. Michaels told us that she doesn’t understand why some would choose to perform a kipping variation rather than the strict version of the movement. She listed off a slew of reasons she feels kipping is not the appropriate choice: It doesn’t help you build functional strength. It doesn’t apply the full range of motion. There are more effective ways to target multiple muscle groups. There are better and safer ways to train for power. The risk of injury is high.

“One can argue that with a good base of athleticism and proper form, these injuries can be avoided,” she said. “But I say the forces on the shoulder and lower spine are extremely high during kipping movements, so the risk is there for even seasoned athletes.”

A heated debate ensued shortly after she made her stance known, with CrossFit fans coming out against her remarks. But the controversy over kipping isn’t a new one. In fact, fitness pros have been debating whether kipping is actually beneficial for ages. Some even think it’s not a fit for 95 percent of the population, which is why the movement is reserved for professional gymnastics and CrossFit.