So one day you woke up and thought: “Hey! How many fake world endings did I live through? Maybe I need to improve my Pull-Up performance to be at least somewhat cooler the next time?” Well, this might not be the actual thought. But why not? Pull-Up is essential exercise for building strength and muscle. It’s hard to find an exercise that can match regular Pull-Up in terms of building pulling strength. Besides, it requires nothing except your bodyweight. It’s not a coincidence that this exercise is a staple in training of military and law enforcement units.
Now let’s take a closer look at this exercise. You can see basic performance of the pull-up on the pictures. There are several rules of performing the move:
- Start from the dead hang
- Touch the bar with your chest at the top
Of course, there are several other rules like keep your shoulders back and keep your back arched etc., but these requirements can vary from individual to individual. In addition, there are several hand placement considerations:
- Palms facing the bar are generally called “Pull-Ups”. These are considered “tough” ones here in Ukraine. However, in reality they just shift the accent from your biceps to your forearm muscles a little bit.
- Palms facing you are regarded as “Chin-Ups”.
- Palms facing each other are called “Neutral Grip Pull-Ups”.
As for hand placement width, common dogma says that the wider the grip the more lats are working. And vice versa, the closer the grip the more biceps work. Well, Close Grip Pull-Ups definitely work your biceps more. However, I can’t agree with the wide grip statement. According to latest research, lat activation is the pretty close in middle-grip and wide grip pull-ups. Wide-grip version definitely lacks range of motion. My advice is don’t waste your time on wide grip version and concentrate on regular Chin-Ups instead.
Ok, everybody should already know this. Let’s get to the fun part.
The Fun Part
Ok, so how do you improve those bad boys? There are several practical ways that depend on your conditions.
First of all, if you are just working toward your first Pull-Up, then you should concentrate on different assisted variations. They could be band-assisted Pull-Ups, feet elevated Pull-Ups, Pull-Ups with partner’s help, Pull-Up negatives etc. You should get your first rep pretty fast, if you’re not very overweight or struggling-even-to-pick-up-the-pen weakling. You can get there by trying Pull-Ups every day, or by hitting them hard once or twice per week. Anyway, when you’ll get to sets of 3-5 reps everything will become a bit different. You may find that you are not progressing at all. That’s when you should apply “greasing the groove”. It means that you should perform Pull-Ups throughout the day without draining yourself. Therefore, if your maximum is 5 reps, try doing one set of 2-3 reps several times per day. You should get to 10-12 reps in no time.
There are several ways from here. You can either add weight and get stronger (and progress further toward one-arm chin-ups) or you can work on endurance (or both, but specialization will get you more results). If you decide to get stronger, then I recommend not to exceed 5 reps in set. You should be working in low to moderate volume. Schemes like 3 x 3, 3 x 5, 4 x 4, 5 x 3, 5 x 5 etc. would be just right. Try to add weight to you anytime possible. If you pick endurance training, then there is good old high-frequency training to help you. Try to perform 1 set to failure in the morning and 1 set to failure in the evening. After 3 weeks give yourself several days of rest and then repeat.
In addition, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to train your grip. Try to add some hangs from the bar here and there. This should help.
Now you have all the info you need to master the pull-up. Don’t waste your time, start training right now. Thanks for reading. You know you are awesome. Sharelikesubscribe.
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