Wednesday, April 8, 2015


One thing I am challenging ALL of my clients to do is to choose an exercise they are struggling to do and 9/10 say PULL-UPS ! Pull-ups are a demanding exercise to do and somewhat frustrating to say the least. There are three common things people think, say or do when I mention that we are doing pull ups in a workout...
1- I can't do a pull-up!!! Those of you who know me, can't is not a word in my vocabulary so it shouldn't be used !
2-You already convinced yourself that you are not going to be able to do it without even trying !
3- You are not properly training to build the strength and muscle to do one.
So first you need to really BELIEVE in yourself that you are in fact capable of doing a pull up. You also need to practice movements that will help develop and build those muscles in order to do one !!!
You cannot expect to get a pull-up if you are not strength training or never get on a pull-up bar!! An added bonus is that pull-ups are one of the quickest ways to change your body composition. You will get a nice strong defined back and shoulders, while also defining your whole body if you are doing proper pull-ups.
Here is proper pull up technique. I use the following progressions to fix the above listed problems and gain strength to obtain your first pull-up, increase your current pull-up numbers, or to advance to weighted pull-ups.
-Eye Position: looking at the bar causes you to move further away from the bar.
-Start of pull: lack of lat engagement when initiating the pull.
-Middle of pull: lack of strength and full body tension.
-Finish of pull: lack of strength and elbow drive.
There are also a few techniques that will help develop the strength for pull ups. It's not all about the muscles you have but proper form and technique will be at your greatest advantage.
Hollow Rockers
• Lie on your back and contract your abs while pressing your lumbar (lower back) in the floor.
• Slowly raise your head, arms, and legs off the ground.
• Rock your body back and forth while maintaining this position. The angle of your shoulders and hips should not change or be used for momentum.
Hollow Hangs
• Hang with straight arms from the pull-up bar with an over hand grip.
• Pull your body into the same hollow position you did on the ground with hollow rockers and hold for a time.
• Your body should be tight from your shoulders to your feet.
Lat Activation Drill
• While holding the hollow hang, connect, and disconnect your shoulders into the socket.
• This drill will strengthen infraspinatus, teres minor, teres major and latissimus dorsi while also teaching you to stay tight at the start of your pull.

Slow Negatives
• Working on descending slowly from a high pull up hang will give you a chance to work the full range of motion for your pull-ups while gaining strength.
Neutral Grip Pull-ups
• Neutral grip is sometimes easier, as you grip will be narrower and palms facing each other, this allows for more biceps recruitment.
• Same grip as the underhand flexed arm hangs but now you are going to pull for the full range of motion from hollow hang.
• Engage your lats, pull-up, and over bar. Chin-ups are usually easier for females to get strong at before pull-ups.
• Hang in the hollow position with hands slightly wider than your shoulders, thumb-less grip and pull the full range of motion until the chin is over the bar.
• When you are close to getting over the bar, shoot your elbows down and back to increase the height that you will get over the bar.

Some key concepts to remember !
NEVER train to failure: training to fail only makes you better at failing!
STAY fresh with proper technique and stop before setting in a bad pattern.
LIFT heavy to increase strength.
STRONG deadlifts make for easier pull-ups.

So lets put these into practice !!
Set 1: Assisted pull ups 4 x 12 reps
Set 2: Inverted row 4 x12
workout !
50-20 work to rest ratio
-plank rows with push up
-Dead lift to high pull with dumbbells
-push press with bar
-plank hold on bosu
-Ball slams
Have a great Day !

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