Pull-ups are one of our favourite strength exercises. They strengthen your back, shoulders, chest, core and arms. Whilst also, improving posture and and increasing your grip strength. In terms of bang for your buck, the pull-up is one of the most effective strength building exercises.
But if you haven’t got any pull-ups, it’s hard to know where to start.
In this 5 part series on the pull-up, we’ve addressed this question as well as how to incorporate different styles of pull-ups into your training for maximum strength gains.
Part 1 takes you through what the pull-up looks like and how to gain that initial strength required to perform the movement.
Step 1: Ring rows.
We use the ring row as a starting point to gain pulling strength as shown in the Pictures below (Click the images to enlarge).
The movement starts with arms fully extended underneath the rings. The athlete is then required to pull their chest to meet the rings to complete the movement. A slow eccentric (lowering) tempo is used to recruit more muscle fibres and build strength in this movement.
The athlete can move the positioning of their feet further under the rings to adjust the difficulty of the movement.
We recommend athletes aim to be able to hit at least a set of 10 reps with a 4 second tempo before moving onto step 2, the eccentric pull up.
Step 2: Eccentric pull-ups.
The eccentric component of any movement is the lowering phase (when the muscle is lengthening). In the pull-up, this is referring to lowering down from the bar.
In this movement, the athlete starts by hanging at full extension, then steps onto a box or platform from which conduct a small jump to reach the top of the pull-up (i.e. chin over the bar). From there, the athlete slowly lowers themselves back down to full extension at a particular tempo. We recommend using a 30 second tempo (or working towards 30 seconds).
Once you can hit approximately 5 sets of 1 rep with a 30 second tempo, you are ready to give full pull-ups a try.
Let us know how you go, and tune in next Friday at 11:00 am, for part two.