Fitness Tip of the Week #21 How to best do a Pull-up

I read a statistic that said most Americans can’t do a complete, correct pull-up. Maybe you are one of those people, and if you are, it’s ok. A correct, fully unassisted pull-up takes a lot of strength. It is a great move that all strength training routines should take advantage of. But, if you can’t even do a pull-up, or can only get maybe one or two, what should you do? Many people don’t know where to begin when training for pull-ups. Well, here are several different techniques that you can implement into your strength training routines that will begin to develop the strength and power needed to do pull-ups.

First, try doing them feet assisted. The best way to do this is to go to a gym and place a barbell on a squat rack, then hold onto the bar while in a squat position with your feet flat on the ground, directly under you hips. Now perform a pull-up, pressing with your feet to help you up, but using as much of your arms in the move as you can. Try to get up to 20 repetitions. The good thing about doing this is anyone with the ability to stand up can do it. You can use as much assistance from your feet as you need, and you can vary how hard you make the pull-up by using more upper body and less lower. If you have a person you are working out with, you can have your partner help you by holding onto your feet, or by pressing up on your back. The partner pull-ups will be a little harder than the feet assisted pull-ups.

The next one is to do a negative pull-up. This would be the next step up from feet or partner assisted. The emphasis of the negative pull-up is not so much the pulling up, but rather the lowering down. Use a bench to help you jump up to a pull-up position, then lower yourself down as slow as you can and repeat.

If you are someone who struggles with doing pull-ups or cannot do a pull-up, use these variations on the pull-up to help gain strength in your upper body. Even if you can do a significant number of pull-ups, it is still a good idea to use the negative pull-up and the assisted pull-up in your routines.

Loren Sheets

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