How to do the Perfect Pull Up | Master Pull Up Form
How Can I Master A Proper Pull-Up?
Being able to perform strict chest-to-bar pull-ups is the sine qua non of training. Approach your next session armed with these insider tricks and you’ll be a few reps closer to elite pulling power.
1. Negatives are a positive
Done twice weekly, negative sets build confidence before progressing to full pull-ups. Jump up to grab the bar at the top of each rep, hold, then lower for four seconds until your arms are extended. Aim for four sets of five reps with two minutes’ rest between.
2. Rest is best
Don’t get frustrated by gym-goers performing double-figure reps. Set a goal of three to five for four sets, with a two-minute rest in between. Don’t sell yourself short on the rest periods either, as this will reduce the chances of you performing quality reps. Technique should be your main goal.
(Related: 10 secrets to the perfect pull-up)
3. Perfect your pulls
Once you’ve grooved your pull-ups to a point where you’re performing reps and sets with relative ease, add weight to avoid stagnating. A chain around your neck may look good for the ’gram, but it’ll ruin your form, so a belt is your best bet. To ensure you hit more volume, perform five reps of weighted pull-ups for four sets, adding a lat pulldown to failure for your last two sets.
4. Stay true to form
Range of motion is everything. Aim to get your collarbone as close to the bar as possible by pushing your chest forward. Extend your elbows and squeeze your shoulders at the top to avoid rounding your back.
(Related: The 4 most common form mistakes)
5. Get a grip
Build strength with an underhand grip before tackling overhand. Wrap your thumbs around the bar to ensure the angle of your torso keeps the focus on your lats, instead of flaring your elbows out and letting your biceps do all the work.
6. Accessorise back day
Build transferable strength for pull-ups by taking a seat at the lat pulldown machine. Working with a variety of handles lets you target different areas of your back. Use a close-grip D-handle, for example, to build denser muscle in your traps.
(Related: One workout to get a bigger back)
7. Core control
Squeezing your glutes and tensing your abs will help your body to work more effectively as a single unit. By bracing your muscles before you begin to lift, you’ll increase the rigidity of your body, keeping your shape uniform to prevent undue swinging. This translates to better quality and consistency of reps. Keep your legs and feet pressed together, in order to maintain a tight core throughout the movement, too.
Video: How To: Beginner Pull-Up Progressions
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