This is the start of your journey where I have laid out the 6 simple steps to mastering your perfect pull up.
Challenge. Starting with the first step, work your way through and master each step until you can perform 10 strict pull ups. This could take months or it could take weeks but consistency and hard work will pay off. Keep at it!
Step 1. Active Hang (grip strength)
First thing we want to develop is your grip strength. Grab the bar with your hands, slightly wider than shoulder width apart, palms facing away from you, feet together with legs locked straight and slightly out in front of your body, engage your glutes, brace your abs, squeeze your grip and pull your shoulders back and down (retract and depress), keep your body tight.
Aim. Hold for 1 minute straight, if you can’t achieve 1 minute yet then add these holds throughout your workout and accumulate a time of 1 minute with sets of time that you can achieve i.e. 6×10 sec, 4×15 sec, 2×30 sec, until you can hit a minute straight.
Step 2. Isometric Hold
Using a step, place yourself in the top position of the pull up, lift your feet off the step and hold the top position for 10 seconds again while squeezing your grip, bracing your glutes and abs to maintain a rigid body.
Aim. Hold for 10 seconds straight, if you can’t achieve this yet, keep your feet on the step and hold and contract all your muscles as if you are doing it without the support, to progress just take less weight off of your feet overtime.
Step 3. Eccentric Phase (lowering)
Start in the top position, as you did the last exercise, lower yourself down whilst keeping a rigid body by bracing all the muscles you did in the previous exercise, again keeping your feet together and legs locked out slightly in front of your body.
Aim. Lower yourself down for 5 seconds – If you can’t achieve this yet, then start by lowering yourself down by one to two second and build yourself up to 5 seconds overtime.
Step 4. Band Assisted Pull Ups
Wrap the band around the bar, place one or both feet in the band and set yourself as you did previously and pull yourself up into the top position and squeeze your shoulders back together and pull your chest into the bar at the top.
Aim. Complete 10 repitions with good form (once you can complete 10 reps, use a weaker band as progression) – If you can’t make 10 reps yet you can use a stronger band to help assist. Alternatively, if you don’t have another band then decrease the volume to the number of reps that you can currently achieve i.e. 10×1 reps, 5×3 reps, 2×5 reps, 3×8 reps etc. with 1 to 2 minutes rest between sets and work towards the single set of 10 reps.
Step 5. Momentum Pull Up
Get yourself into the bottom position and make sure everything is tight and your body is rigid, squeeze your grip and pull yourself up using momentum from a slight push with your feet from the floor or a step.
Aim. Complete 10 repitions with good form – If you can’t make 10 reps yet, then decrease the volume to the number of reps you can currently achieve i.e. 10×1 reps, 5×2 reps, 2×5 reps, 3×8 reps etc. with 1 to 2 minutes rest between sets and work closer to that set of 10 reps.
Step 6. Strict Pull Up
After you have completed all the exercises above you should now be ready to complete 1 strict pull up. Again, set yourself to create tension throughout your body by engaging your glutes and bracing your abs, squeeze your grip, feet together with legs locked out slightly in front of you and pull your body up and into the bar.
Aim. Complete 10 strict pull ups with good form, again If you can’t make 10 reps yet, then decrease the volume to the number of reps you can currently achieve i.e. 10×1 reps, 5×2 reps, 2×5 reps, 3×8 reps etc. with 1 to 2 minutes rest between sets and work up to completing a solid 10 reps overtime.
Follow this blog as it unfolds. Comment if you have questions or ideas.