Get Better At: Pull Ups

Get Better At: Pull Ups

Get Better At: Pull Ups

 Pull ups are a staple for most workout programs. They increase pulling power, help develop strong back and arms muscles, and much more. The ability to do a pull up is more difficult that it seems, push ups tend to be far easier. In this article we will be diving into the world of pull ups to help you get better. Whether you are a seasoned pull up veteran, a beginner, or have never done one keep reading. We promise you will up your pull up game. 

First let’s look at what the pull up targets in terms of muscle groups. For starters the pull up targets the back primarily the Latissimus Dorsi, that’s the muscle that looks similar to a wing. The shoulders and biceps also assist in pulling power. Pull ups are considered a compound movement and most workout programs have them programmed from time to time, or every other day depending on the type of training you do. These muscles are vital to upper body strength, and often get neglected.

Here are a few things you can do to improve your pull ups, listed in no specific order. If you can already do more than three pull ups read on. If you struggle to get 1-3 pull ups at a time it might be a good idea to try these for a month and see if they help your fatigue.

  • Bat wings (hold at the top and feel your scapula contract)

  • Ring rows, barbell rows, or Australian Pull ups.

  • Negatives (start at the top and lower yourself down)

  • Band assisted pull ups

  • Jumping Pull ups

  • Mixed Grip Pull ups

If you can already do a few pull ups then I would suggest something you might not have tried, more pull ups, that’s right the best way to improve is through volume work. If you already have 5 pull ups that you can easily string together then I would attempt to fight for that sixth one, immediately after do a set of 3 negatives. This keeps the muscles in contraction and will help build them up. Here are a few other workouts you can do to improve your pull up game.

  • Weighted pull ups (even the smallest weight makes a big difference)

  • Dead hang for 10 seconds and then do a set of pull ups

  • Barbell rows

  • Tempo ring row, or Australian Pull ups

  • Tempo Pull Ups

  • Reverse flys

I realize that this is unconventional, but I promise that they help. Weighted Pull ups and adding in more volume are typically the best way to improve, but they are not the only way. Barbell rows will help strengthen your mid back. Dead hangs will ensure you are engaging your back properly and works your grip strength. Tempo pull ups and ring rows will assist you in keeping constant contraction and for feeling any flaws in your pull ups.

That’s all there is to it. If you want to improve pull ups you have to start doing them. Warm your shoulders up, keep your lats engaged and you will be well on your way to getting your first pull up, or giving you the ability to do more over time. I am proud of your for starting your pull up journey and I know in time you will get that first pull up. It is a great feeling once you get one and then years later you will take it for granted. Pull ups are hard to do as a beginner, but I promise they get easier. Keep it up, and never give up.

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