A gymnastics Kip is a technique used by many CrossFitters to simply do more work faster. Kipping can be employed in a variety of movements; pull-ups, muscles ups, toes to bar, handstand push-ups etc…
It allows the athlete to use power generated from the hip joint to achieve the desired range of motion. In doing so, the athlete harnesses more power from his/her entire body, and protects the more limited and smaller muscle groups of the extremities.
An example of when this would be a helpful skill to have would be a workout with 50 pull-ups followed by 5 rope climbs. If an athlete were to do 50 strict pull-ups (that is, with no help from the hips), then attempt to climb a rope immediately after, most athletes would feel an intense sense of fatigue in the arms and shoulders. If the same athlete used an effective kipping pull-up for the set of 50, he/she would be in a better condition for the rope climb. This way the athlete would have less fatigue in his/her arms, shoulders, and back, having saved some crucial strength by using the hip joint during the pull-ups. So there is some reason behind using a kip. It’s simply more effective to get work done.
**Everyone should make sure that they have a stable shoulder and enough strength behind their strict pull-up before attempting kipping pull-ups.