The Pull Up
One of the best exercises to do is the pull up. You want to be able to do them for breakfast, luch and dinner. Basiacallly it’s a good idea to practice them all the time. The posterior or backside of most human beings is weak because of all the sitting we do. Modern day society has taught us to become slaves to computers, the television, and other electronic devices.
Yes, it’s true that I work off a computer with my online business, but I don’t let that stop me from getting in numerous amount and sets of pull ups where ever I go. The point is that you want to be able to do them and many of them.
I remember reading in Arnold’s encyclopedia for bodybuilding, that he would sneak off and do rep after rep until his muscles were blown from all the pulling.
So what are some ways we can increase the number of pull ups we do?
One of the first movements that you can do is actually a row. I prefer to use body weight at first then progress to the weighted movements. Too many people start off too fast and get discouraged when they find themselves doing one to three pull ups.
To avoid this discouragement start of with the recline or horizontal row and then build the upper back and forearms from there. Recline rows are an excellent exercise and easy to do. You can use a Trx strap, rope, bar, towel or anything you might be able to get yourself under. I prefer the rope or towel as it adds strength and size to the forearms.
Key points to remeber when recline rowing:
- Keep your back or shoulder blades pinched and chest slightly up, Many people tend to round the upper back at this point.
- Hips should be up, but not hyper extended and stomach tight.
- Feet can be regressed and flat on the ground or use a progression and point the toes upward.
- Clinch fist and pull then lower under control.
- Repeat for reps
Once your able to perform an easy 2 to 3 sets of 10 – 15 reps you should be ready to move on to the pull ups. I have athletes start with the recline rowing so that the upper back and shoulders are built to withstand all the forces that are going to be applied when doing pull ups. Another quick tip to remember is that you want to train all angles of the body not just one.
Progressing From Recline Rows To Pull Ups
Awesome! So now were ready to do some pull ups. The back has been built for about three weeks or so and is ready for another angle of training. Chances are your not going to be able to jump up to a bar and start ripping out millions of reps so it’s a good idea to grab a band and try some assisted pull ups. Bands work great for this type of movement.
- Blue = highest tension
- Orange = lightest tension
These are the bands that are most commonly used so pick and choose which one works for you then work yourself on down the line. I would recommend that you start with a purple then work your way down to orange.
Start of with a few sub max sets and see how it feels. You want to make sure that you don’t go to failure and you leave a couple in “the tank” as we like to call it. So for example, if I could do 1 set of 30 reps for a max out set or to failure I would want to stop at 27 for a sub max set.
I think you get the picture?
You may also want to add in a variety of hand positions so you can attack all angles of the back. Try throwing in palms facing away from you and palms facing toward you with your sets. You can also add in hands together or widen them. I encourage you to try as many angles as possible, but stick to the basics first.
Key points to remember when doing pull ups:
- Clinch the bar with your hands making a complete fist. Many forget that the forearms help you when pulling. Stronger forearms mean more pull ups.
- Depress the shoulder girdle before you pull, this insures that the back is activated
- Pull your body up and chin to the bar
- lower under control
- Stomache tight