Pull-ups are one of the most difficult body-weight exercises to perform. I am here to pass along some pull-up tips and tricks to help you get started, or boost the number of pull-ups you can do
Equipment: Pull-up Bar
If you have ever worked with a personal trainer before and the trainer says you are going to do pull-ups, you might instantly jump to negative thoughts. The first negative thought you might have is, “I can’t do any pull-ups!”. I know many people who don’t do pull-up workouts just because they are difficult.
This puts you in a bad mindset right from the start. So if you are someone who struggles with pull-ups, here are 5 tips to getting better at doing pull-ups:
#1: Do more back exercises.
– Pull-ups are a back exercise. Yes, you use other muscle groups as well, but the main focus is your back, so you need to get you back muscles stronger. After that, develop your chest and shoulders to help out the secondary muscles.
2: Do negative reps.
– Instead of starting the pull-up from the bottom of the exercise and pulling up to the bar, start at the top and slowly lower yourself down. You may need a chair to get up into proper position, but the negative motion will help develop good form, and it requires the same muscles to slowly lower youself to the ground.
3. Gain shoulder stability.
Being able to hold yourself on the bar is very important, and your shoulders help provide stability when on the pull-up bar. Do some free hangs as a pull-up bar exercise and see how long you can last. This will promote shoulder strength necessary to perform a proper pull-up.
4. Don’t Kip!
– You may have heard of “kipping” before if you have looked up any type of Crossfit workout. Leave this to the Crossfit professionals as I find kipping to be a terrible way to perform a pull-up. It may be fine in competition, but it does not help with strength gains or being better at pull-ups.
Stay in control and keep the pull-up motion at a 1 second up, and 1 second down motion. No need to try and use you lower body to “fling” yourself up to the pull-up bar. Develop real strength by staying in control and avoiding the “kip”.
5. Use a chair.
This is a method I still use to get more pull-ups in my workouts. Chair-assisted pull-ups are a great way to build the strength you need to eventually do pull-ups, or add on more pull-ups without resting per exercise set.
I tend to use the chair when I reach my max number of pull-ups in a set. It lets me get 5-10 more reps will placing just my toe on the chair for a bit of assistance. If you are trying to get to 10 total reps but can only do 5, use the chair and get 5 more assistance pull-ups until you no longer need the chair to assist you.
Those are my 5 pull-up tips that you can use to go from no pull-ups, to 10 or more in no time! Pull-ups are one of my strengths, but even I need a way to push myself. I have done these tips listed above, and my current record is 28 pull-ups without rest. Stick to these tips and you can get there too.
Looking for a pull-up bar? Try the perfect pull-up bar after reading my review here!