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Wastelander's picture
Pull-Ups for the Clinch

Hello everyone,

I've mentioned the "kettlebell clinch pull-up" to a few people lately, and they were having a hard time envisioning what I meant, so I recorded a short video of myself doing them. They are great for working your hook grip and your strength for pulling in the clinch! Right now, they are my favorite pull-up variation.

Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture

I like it! I can see how the kettlebell replicates the neck and that strikes me as a good bit of functional strength training.

A related variation that my judo colleagues liked to make use of was throwing an old Gi over a chin up bar, taking hold of the collar with both hands and then doing chin ups taking the head to the left and then the right of the bar. Again, great for improving grip strength on the gi as well as the ability to pull strongly.

The video below was filmed in the Kendal and Bacup judo clubs. I used to train twice a week at the Kendal club. A 1:26 you can see David Groom climbing up a specially made “rope” that effectively has two judo gi collars on either side. As he goes up hand over hand (hugely impressive!) it once again develops great grip strength which is specific to the requirements of judo.

In fact the whole clip is worth watching. Danny, Michael (or Jurgen as he is better known), and David are great martial artists, super fit athletes and really nice guys too.

All the best,


Wastelander's picture

I saw that video when you shared it on Facebook--cool stuff! I actually also picked up judogi pull-ups from my time in judo, and will still sometimes throw my belt or gi over a bar to do them. I've seen some special accessories for weight lifting and pull-ups that are made out of gi material specifically for things like that.

karate10's picture

At my local gym at 24 Hours Fitness here in the States apart from my Karate trainning, I use the Kettlebell for pull ups application and even knees pull ups to strenthen my lower abdomen which also can be use as well....A lot of members stared at me very funny, but effective.......Thanks for sharing the video.