If you’ve struggled with pull ups in the past, the first thing I want to say is don’t worry.
You are not alone.
In fact, of the thousands of men and women I have trained over the years, I’d say at least 50% of them had difficulties performing a single rep on this exercise.
However, the worst thing you can do – and sadly the path most people take – is avoid them.
When something is hard, it’s usually a pretty good indicator that it represents an area we need to work at in order to get stronger.
So today I’ll give you three of my clients’ favourite tips when trying to learn how to get better at pull ups. These tips have been used by men and women alike, but women in general tend to see the biggest boost in performance.
1. Work Negatively
I know fitness is all about motivation and positivity, but the best thing you can do with this exercise is get negative.
Of course, I don’t mean sit there under the rack and sulk at your failure to complete a rep.
I’m talking about working the negative phase of the rep.
During the negative phase we concentrate on controlling our body as we lower ourselves back to the ground from the top position of a pull up.
This is where all of the strength gains are hidden, yet it’s a secret that most gym goers overlook as they bounce around in the top third of the rep until their biceps and forearms finally give way. india forums
If you cannot lift yourself up to the bar, perform a jump. This will effectively skip the first part of the rep, allowing you to catch the bar and try to control your body weight as you slowly lower yourself back down to the ground.
Once you can handle a 10 second negative phase, you’ll notice a huge improvement in your strength and your grip.
Which brings me to tip number two..
2. Work Your Grip
The weakest link of a chain will break first.
And when performing pull ups, deadlifts or any other heavy exercise, the weakest link we’re speaking about is your grip strength.
Think about it for a second.
Your quadriceps are a massive muscle group. Your forearms are a tiny muscle group.
And if you were to grab a pair of heavy dumbbells then start lunging around your gym, you’d notice that your forearms would reach muscle failure, causing you to put the dumbbells down, long before your quadriceps reached the same state.
The exact same situation is happening to most people when trying to perform a pull up.
So while working your lats is nice – we’ll get to that in a moment – you should start off by improving your grip strength for maximum performance benefits.