Pull Ups are one of the Foundation Exercises you need to be doing. You can do push ups all day but without pull ups you will always be off balance because you will only be working one direction of movement.
Pull ups are a lot harder than push ups though, and most people who can do them aren’t doing them very well.
Where To Do Pull Ups
To start doing pull ups, you are going to need a bar of some kind. You can do pull ups anywhere you can find a bar to hang off, you can even get pull up frames to fit your door at home, so there are no excuses.
You can do them on scaffolding, high bars, swings at your local park or anywhere else you can free hang from something - maybe a good flat tree branch?
If you can do a few Aussie Pull Ups, then you should be able to squeeze one good pull up. If you have never done it, you need to do this first. Get your Aussies down before you do pull ups, it will help build a bit of muscle before.
How To Do A Pull Up
So you can smash out a set of Aussies? Time to get on proper Pull Ups!
- Jump up to the bar and dead hang. If your bar is too low, you will have to bend your knees to tuck them up behind you.
- Engage your scapula to square your shoulders, this will pull all of your back into the movement and put you in the right position to do the rep.
- Pull up, getting your chin up over the bar, without swinging or kipping.
- Return slowly to the bottom of the movement, keeping your shoulders engaged.
- Release your shoulders to return to the dead hang.
- Re-engage your shoulders again before returning back to the top of the bar for the next rep.
Should You Go To Dead Hang?
Yes you should, it uses the full range of motion and will strengthen your shoulders so much more in the process.
A lot of people say you shouldn’t go all the way down because you can jolt your shoulders and cause and injury.
Despite what I said above, this is good advice. Don’t jolt down onto your shoulders out of the movement, keep your shoulders and your back engaged, and even if you are coming down quite quick, keep your shoulders tight until you are right at the bottom.
Why You Should Be Engaging Your Shoulders?
You should be engaging your shoulders so that you are using your back muscles. A Pull Up should use your whole back, not just the top, not just the middle, all of it. Check out the video below to see the back in action, including the shoulder movements at the top and bottom.
Do you see how many muscles are activated during this exercise?
You should be training them together guys, that is how you build proper proportional strength, functional strength.
Plus you are doing the Scapula exercise built in!
Beyond The Pull Up
Although Chin Ups tend to be easier, Pull Ups are the one you want to work for. But you should still do chins.
Chin Ups are the reverse grip Pull Ups; this means you have your fingers pointing towards you rather than forwards.
Do these because it will focus more on your Biceps rather than Lats, it will work different muscles in different amounts, and it will also help you get another set in at the end of your workout!
The Next Step
When you have your pull ups down, you are laughing. You can start doing variations and little tweaks that previously seemed impossible, because you have the upper body strength to pull yourself up to the bar and hold it.
The next step for you may be grip mastery, it may be archer or one arm pull ups, it may be typewriter pull ups, but every time you hit the bar you will see yourself getting better and better.
If you haven’t been doing any pull exercises, you are going to notice yourself getting a lot bigger, filling out quickly – that’s what I found when I started taking pull ups seriously.
But if you have only just got pull ups down, instead of overwhelming yourself with all of these exercises, try doing L-sit Pulls, with your legs out at 90degrees or just trying wide and close grips.
Ready To Take It Further?
As I said above, Pull Ups are one of the Foundation Exercises, movements you must be doing to train your whole body.
You can find out more about the Foundation Exercises by signing up to the FREE Video Course here: