How many pull-ups can you do in one go?
Let’s face it, lots of people struggle with pull-ups. Some of us--no names--can recall failing to complete even a single pull-up during physical fitness testing in grade school. Woe, those scars of fitness malfunction.
But there is hope.
Pull-ups target the pulling muscles. With effort, these muscle can be strengthened. We’ll break down the muscles involved and give you some supplementary work to assist you in improving your technique - and we'll help you confront those painful memories of gym classes gone by!
The prime movers in a pull-up are the muscles of the back, particularly the latissimus dorsi and the rhomboids. To do even one rep you’ll be asking for support from the teres major in the shoulder, the bicep brachia in the arm and the stabilizing efforts of your belly and pelvic floor muscles to boot. All hands on deck!
Any plan to improve your performance needs to touch all these bases. Try these tips:
1) Cardio is Tops:
Rock that rope. Skipping rope tones the belly and pelvic floor. Further, pulling becomes easier when you are light and lean, and pulling less mass.
2) Practice Makes Perfect:
If you can do a few pull-ups, try hitting your one-set-max at 5 different times throughout the day in addition to your current workout regime. This rule also applies if you opt for negative pull-up, seated pull-down, or the lat swing.
3) Rockin’ Row:
To build up your back and core, try the Plank Row Combo. What? Let me explain. Grab a resistance band and your anchor. Secure the anchor low in the door frame. Loop your lightest resistant band through the anchor and attach it to a single handle. Assume a plank position and grab the handle with the left hand. Pull the elbow back toward the side of the body. When you burn out, switch hands.
4) Try Chin-ups:
Pull-ups are often confused with their cousin, the Chin-up. Chin-ups feature a slight alteration in grip. In a chin-up a trainee adopts the palm “toward” position or an “underhand” grip. Most trainees find chin-ups more accessible than the pull-up. This makes sense as the “towards” grip places the bicep in an easier line of pull. These are not meant to be substitutes for pull-ups, but rather supplements. Get after it!
Follow these tips to pull-up-up-up and away. And just maybe, the next time we ask you how many you can do, the number will have grown - along with the muscles of your back, arms, and abs!
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