We are often told that the hips are the true athletic engines of the body. Well, if you want to strengthen your hips and increase your explosive power, you should focus your attention on the kip up.
In the kip up, you lie on your back and generate enough force with your lower body (along with some help from your hands) to explode upward and land on your feet. You will need wrist flexibility, healthy joints, and core strength to accomplish this, plus a well-padded surface on which to practice.
There are three basic components of the kip up. You should practice each one in separate drills before stringing them all together:
- Place your palms on the ground and roll your hips up quickly. Your knees will be just inches from your forehead. This gives you room to be able to accelerate the explosive motion.
- Push your legs upward with explosive power.Your hips should rise even higher, and your lower back should leave the ground, too.This gives you a feel for how much force you must create to achieve a kip up, and helps you learn the motor pattern.
- Land safely on your feet and stand up from there.Only the balls of your feet should touch the ground, and there should be a straight line from your knees to your chest.
Before trying to get your whole body momentarily airborne, practice landing in a bridge after pushing your legs upward. This is how you land in the actual movement, but you will use momentum to help you stand up.
It can be frustrating to learn the kip up, but you must persist and experiment with it. Don't be afraid to mess up or even devise alternatives that work better for you. The payoff is great, and you'll be able to get up strong when life knocks you down.