For Part 3 of High Impact Strength Movements we’re going to be talking about pull ups. Oh yes, if the almighty pull up wasn’t part of this series then I wouldn’t be doing my job my friend. You should constantly be including pull ups into your journey towards being able to beat up on your athletic competition while also acquiring the ability to lift a googol (not be confused with the big search engine called Google that’s also reading this article right now) of poundage. However, before you stand up under that bar take a minute to keep on reading to hopefully broaden your pull up horizons!
The Humbling Pull Up…
Oh yes the pull up exercise is one hell of an option when it comes to building superior upper body strength in the lats, arms, hands, and with building your mind! That’s right, the last quality is the one that really gets tested.
I mean for some reason many people look up at that pull up bar and just shy away from it. Most just want to fold up like a tent. I don’t know why specifically “the pull” itself seems to be neglected by so many people, but in fact it is!
I mean aside from pull ups being challenging, part of the reason that pull ups get neglected is because many people just don’t follow, or understand simple progressions in order to master this movement in the first place. For instance, if you are incapable of performing a pull up then you can still work the back muscles through other major lifts (such as deadlifts, rows, etc.), as well as auxiliary exercises (such as TRX rows, sled pulls, lying horizontal pull ups, etc.) to strengthen the posterior muscles used in developing pull up power.
In addition to this if you want to get real specific then you can assist yourself in some very simple progressions to master the pull up exercise and once this is done move on to more advanced pull ups in order to dominate that bar like a champion. Let’s look at a few examples of these types of progressions.
First of all, let’s assume that you can’t perform a standard pull up exercise. A simple progression for helping with this can be to start by doing horizontal pull ups. Begin by laying a bar across a power rack. From here lie on the floor and reach up with your arms to grab the bar. You can keep your body straight and pull your body off the ground by pulling your chest towards the bar.
Once you are able to do this then you can step up the intensity by starting under a standard pull up bar. From here if you are still having problems executing the pull up then simply use a rubber band or training partner to assist in the upward phase of the pulling of the movement.
If this is still too difficult then simply have a training partner to spot you and you can just statically hold yourself in a position with your chin above the bar for time. Over time steadily increase the hold time. As you get stronger with the static hold simply start to control your descent as you lower yourself down from the chin above bar position. Control your descent by making it slow and steady.
Next thing you know BAM, you’re blasting pull ups like a human gorilla playing around in your iron Tarzan-like habitat! It’s all good after that. Now keep in mind that if you can do a pull up, but are a little rusty then when you grab the bar just make sure to crush the grip and to tension your lats right before pulling.
This automatically “sets” your scapula (shoulder blade) to be stable for the upward phase of the movement. From there you can move on to performing more standard pulls and even more advanced pulling variations as I’m demonstrating here.
Now once you get to the point of executing standards you can see how you can use progressions to enhance your performance on the other side of the coin to execute more advanced forms of pull ups. It’s almost an endless journey!
For instance, where you used bands before to “assist” you in the movement now you can use them to “resist” you in the movement. All you have to do is throw them around each shoulder and anchor them to the ground somehow. I’ll let you work out the details, but you get my point.
So don’t shy away from the pull up exercise my friend. Go out and dominate it! Now that you have a plan you can easily progress your movements to make some High Impact on your strength gains! If you enjoyed this part of High Impact Strength Movements please feel free to leave a comment of your own in the comment box below including some of your own progressions. We’re always up to learning here. Remember that most anyone can train hard, but only the best train smart my friend.
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