Gym Shorts: The Pull Up

New to the pull up or looking for a quick technique tutorial? Learn correct form in one short video.

The Pull Up

Gym Shorts videos provide short video demonstrations of correct form for various exercises.

Follow these steps:

  • Straight arms
  • Open shoulders
  • Pronated grip – palms facing away
  • Chin high above the bar at the top
  • Tight abs
  • Pull elbows down
  • Hold your legs & body still

We tend to program chin ups before pull ups because chin ups allow biceps brachii muscle to better contribute to the movement. Some people prefer pull ups or need to perform them for a fitness test. They also vary the stress just like supplemental stress would when compared to the chin up.

Pull ups tend to be performed after the primary lifts on an upper body day, though they can also be added to the end of an LP workout.

We tend to program these for higher reps for hypertrophy, so 5-15. Because of this, people who can accomplish a large amount of number (12+) will often add weight using a dip belt.

There are lots of ways to program these, including as many reps as possible sets (AMRAPs), every minute on the minute sets (EMOMs), hitting a total number (eg 40 total), or LP with weight.

Some people struggle with a bodyweight pull up, so bands can be used to assist. Negatives, where the lifter jumps up and slowly lowers herself down, can also be used to accomplish the lifter’s first pull up.

Add pull ups to your program to train your upper back and see how many you can do!

Click HERE to learn how to get your first chin up (same principles work) and HERE to learn about how to do chin ups, which, again, are performed similarly to except with a pronated grip.

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