The pull up is probably the hardest bodyweight exercise to do especially when your new to training and there’s a reason for this. It’s because the pull up is one of the best muscle building exercises in existence, especially for muscle growth in your lats/upper back and the only way you’ll get better at doing pull-ups is by actually practicing them.
Too often people make the mistake of replacing pull-ups with lat pulldowns and although the lat pulldown is a great exercise for your lats it won’t help improve your pull up strength. Here’s why: the barrier on your legs uses your hip flexors to assist in the movement and when doing a proper pull up your hip flexors aren’t used to that degree. Secondly, the lat pulldown doesn’t copy the mechanics of a pull up making it a poor assistance exercise for this movement. Don’t get it confused though, the lat pulldowns are a great exercise for your LATS, but if you want to improve your pull up strength it won’t help.
So if you really want to start improving your pull up strength here are 5 tips to help you do just that:
Lose Excess Body Fat
The more body fat you hold the harder it will be for you to do a pull up simply because you’re heavier. The more body fat you lose the easier it will be to do a pull up because your lighter which means there’s not as much bodyweight for you to pull up.
Hang From The Bar
Hanging from the pull up bar will improve your grip strength and a strong grip will lead to a stronger upper body. So try to hang from the bar until failure and when that get’s too easy try one arm hangs, two finger hangs and thick bar hangs (make the pull up bar thicker by wrapping a towel around it).
Ground Pull Ups
You’re literally going to do what it’s called… a ground pull up ! Simply lay on the ground and grab a bar like you would with the pull up and simply pull your body up until your throat is level with the bar.
Practice The Negatives
Negatives are half pull ups where you start in the position with your chin over the bar by standing on something like a chair. Once your chin is over the bar hold that top position for 4 seconds and then slowly lower yourself all the way down. Rinse and repeat.
Always Initiate The Lats
When doing anything related to the pull up (like negatives or ground pull ups) be sure to use your lats first and not the biceps. If you don’t have a strong mind to muscle connection like many beginners do, have someone keep his hands on your lats throughout the exercise.
Once you implement these 5 tips to your routine you’ll be well on your way to achieving your pull up goals. Everyone’s body is different and what may work for you might not work for someone else, so you may find that you do better with some of those tips than with others. Now once you find what works stick with it and keep doing it until you can do a full set of Pull Ups with proper form !
If you have anymore questions about the pull up then please leave it in the comment section down below.