Can't Do A Pull-Up? 5 Minute A Day Will Get You There
This entry was posted on July 1, 2016.
Can't Do A Pull-Up? 5 Minutes A Day Will Get You There
Pull ups are tough, granted, but just 5 minutes a day can help you master this impressive bodyweight exercise. Ready to get started?
Full pull ups - palms facing away from you - can be practised every day. In fact, frequent pull up drills and technique work will really help you transition into being able to bang out sets and reps of this back-building exercise.
5 Minutes Per Day
Spend just 5 minutes every day working on accessory exercises, pull up technique, drills, and partial pull ups to build the strength and confidence you need to do great pull ups.
1) Accessory work circuit
Choose 3 of our accessory exercises (below) and do 3 sets of 6-8 reps of each in a circuit format to build the muscular strength and endurance you'll need to perform a pull up
2) Work on partial pull ups
Train the beginning of the movement by learning to engage your lats and start the pulling movement from your back, not your arms. Hang from the pull up bar and retract your shoulder blades, teaching your back muscles to start the big pull.
3) Slow negatives
Work on the strength you'll need to perform controlled pull ups, by starting at the top of the movement. Jump, or use a chair, to get you to the top of a pull up position (chest at the bar). From here, slowly lower down, using your back muscles to control the negative.
4) Assisted pull ups
Once you have built the strength you need, and your body is familiar with the feeling of working the top and bottom of the movement, train full pulls ups using assistance. This can be a band around your feet, your feet on a chair, or a partner holding your feet.
5) Ready to go
It's time to actually do a pull up. At first, you may only be able to do one. That's great. Tomorrow, try again. In a short period of time, you'll be able to do 2. From there, work with perfect form until your repetitions start to climb.
Accessory Exercises To Build Your Pull Ups
Inverted rows work the same muscles as a pull up, but at a more forgiving angle. Lie under the bar, and grasp it using a pull up grip with arms wide. Keep your feet on the ground, hold your body straight, and tighten your back and glutes. Pull your chest towards the bar, hold, and lower back down slowly.
Chin ups are similar to pull ups, but with hands a little closer together and palms facing you. They bring more of your biceps into the movement, which is why they feel easier. Use them as a training exercise, but don't rely on them.
Simply hanging from the pull up bar, and taking one hand off the bar, can build strength and teach your body what it feels like to hold your bodyweight through the back muscles. Your weight will dictate how comfortable these feel.
That leads us on to one final point: body weight. Pull ups are a great test of strength to weight ratio, so if you are heavy, you will find pull ups more of a challenge. If you are carrying extra weight, and can lose it without sacrificing your strength or performance, your pull ups will feel a lot easier.
Once you start practising pull ups, it's amazing how quickly your body adapts. Let us know how you get on!
|Nicola Joyce is a freelance copywriter and magazine journalist who has been writing about and for the fitness industry since 2004. She's swum the English Channel, has been a World-Champion drug-free bodybuilder and is currently training for powerlifting competitions. She loves training, building muscle, and being active in the great outdoors. You can find her all over social media as "the fit writer".|