In this article we will discuss in deeper detail the benefits of the butterfly pull-up, an advanced pull-up variation that helps an individual conserve energy, save time, and often perform more repetitions and increase performance at competitive fitness workouts and events.
The Butterfly Pull-Up
In the below video the butterfly pull-up is demonstrated. Note, that this movement differs from a standard kipping pull-up and regular, strict pull-up.
4 Benefits of the Butterfly Pull-Up
In the below sections we will discuss four benefits of the butterfly pull-up. Note, that many of these benefits are inherent to most forms of kipping pull-ups, with some exceptions.
Kipping Pull-Up Efficiency
The butterfly pull-up is one of the most efficient kipping pull-up exercise techniques as it saves energy and time. Unlike the strict, regular pull-up araion, the kipping and the butterfly pull-up allow for an individual to use body momentum to assist in the movement of the joints (via muscle contractions). In doing so, less strength and muscle mass is required to perform a repetition.
While the strict, regular pull-up still wins out against kipping pull-up variations, including the butterfly pull-up, muscle growth can still occur. Muscle hypertrophy can be brought about by increased muscle damage and metabolite build-up, often done through a combination of high amounts of tensile loading, time under tension, increased training volume (loads x repetitions and sets), and restrictive recovery between sets. Strict pull-ups are a necessary part to muscle hypertrophy of the back, however performing butterfly pull-ups can contribute to additional muscle damage, especially when paired with strict pull-ups in a training program.
Competitive Fitness and Gymnastic Performance
Competitive fitness requires pull-up movements during some workouts, competition settings, and as the basis for more advanced gymnastic skills necessary for performance (exercise output). The butterfly pull-up is one of the most efficient pull-up methods as it allows an individual to use body momentum to repeat repetitions in a cyclical manner. Unlike kipping pull-ups (non butterfly), the butterfly pull-up has an individual continue their momentum in a very energy efficient manner rather than stopping in between kipping pull-ups to reset. This not only saves time (allows for more repetitions) but also increases a lifter’s ability to be more efficient with muscular contractions (complete more repetitions).
Grip and Muscular Endurance
Higher repetition pulling movements, like the butterfly pull-up requires a great amount of grip strength, endurance, and physical stamina. Increased demands of muscle tissue strength, coordination, and endurance are all seen as a lifter is often able to train with more training volume than strict pull-up movements. Competitive fitness athletes, climbers, and gymnasts may find these extremely beneficial in their overall performance in competitive session/WOD.
Are Butterfly Pull-Ups Safe?
In a previous article we discussed the leading concerns for performing a ballistic, high repetition movement like the kipping pull-up in regards to joint, connective tissue, and muscular health. In short, more advanced ballistic movements can be deemed injurious if the individual is not properly progressed and in a state of readiness to handle the skill and force demands of such a complex movement. When done correctly, which includes building a proper foundational of strength and movement coordination, and sound programming, kipping pull-ups may not be any more detrimental than other movements. You can read the full article here (let us know what you think in the comments).
Pull-Up Progressions and More
Take a look at some of the progression guides below and learn how to master some of the most challenging bodyweight and gymnastic movements the fitness world has to offer.
Featured Image: @superfitgames on Instagram