How to Achieve Strict Pull-ups


For a lot of us, a major goal in CrossFit is to achieve the coveted strict pull up.

A simple movement in theory, but far easier said than done!

Head Coach, Brendan, takes you through the fastest way we’ve come across to work your way to effortless strict pull ups.

Check out his tips and tricks here:

How to achieve strict pull ups

Achieving strict pull ups is a matter of time and consistent training, whilst using the right tools and exercises.

One of the key points to achieving strict pull ups is always working with perfect position and form. This in turn means that you will have to scale effectively within your capabilities at that point in time.

To achieve strict pull ups you should use a variety of different stimulus including but not limited to eccentric pull ups, ring rows and banded pull ups.

Let’s start from the beginning.

Ring rows are a great tool to improve pull ups, as the resistance provided is easily scaled simply by moving the feet forward or back. Ring rows are generally our introductory point to those starting on pull ups. The thing we love about them is that they can be scaled up to the point where they are difficult even for an advanced athlete. It’s all about how far under the rings you stand.

Once you’ve built up enough strength through ring rows, we will have you move onto eccentric pull ups. An eccentric loading on the muscle is when it is placed under stress and lengthened simultaneously. This puts the greatest amount of stress on the muscle fibres of any part of a movement so will deliver fast and effective results if used correctly. Any form of eccentric loading will produce great results, as it is increases time under tension. The longer the eccentric tempo used (e.g. 5 seconds, 15 seconds or 30 seconds), means increased time under tension which creates a harder working muscle for increased results. We often use these in classes to assist our athletes will building strength.

It is important to remember to use a combination of these two exercises in your training, as we want to be changing the stimulus used in order to develop strength quicker (rather than using only one stimulus and not moving any further).

Using these three exercises in your training will be the most effective ways to increase pull up strength. Remember perfect practice makes perfect.

Brendan Dunn

Head Coach

Read more about Brendan HERE

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