Searches for modified gravity in the large-scale structure try to detect the enhanced amplitude of density fluctuations caused by the fifth force present in many of these theories. Neutrinos, on the other hand, suppress structure growth below their free-streaming length. Both effects take place on comparable scales, and uncertainty in the neutrino mass leads to a degeneracy with modified gravity parameters for probes that are measuring the amplitude of the matter power spectrum. We explore the possibility to break the degeneracy between modified gravity and neutrino effects in the growth of structures by considering kinematic information related to either the growth rate on large scales or the virial velocities inside of collapsed structures. In order to study the degeneracy up to fully non-linear scales, we employ a suite of N-body simulations including both f(R) modified gravity and massive neutrinos. Our results indicate that velocity information provides an excellent tool to distinguish massive neutrinos from modified gravity. Models with different values of neutrino masses and modified gravity parameters possessing a comparable matter power spectrum at a given time have different growth rates. This leaves imprints in the velocity divergence, which is therefore better suited than the amplitude of density fluctuations to tell the models apart. In such models with a power spectrum comparable to ΛCDM today, the growth rate is strictly enhanced. We also find the velocity dispersion of virialised clusters to be well suited to constrain deviations from general relativity without being affected by the uncertainty in the sum of neutrino masses.