Two simple things that you can do to see vast improvements in your pull-up power
Ah, the pull-up, the ultimate in body weight exercises, often the subject of many a competition between gym goers with a point to prove. The more pull-ups you can do the stronger you are surely, right? Especially if you can do over ten wide-grip pull-ups, you deserve a big pat on the back. But the best way to measure and improve your pull-up power, thus ensuring you see size and strength gains, is not just by always trying to beat your personal best by banging out as many pull-ups as you can do in a row. There are other ways to ensure that you’re making improvements in your pull-up, pushing you to be able to carry a heavier load and perform more reps ensuring bragging rights for many a month.
An essential component of being a pull-up pro is mastering the hang. Being able to hang from the bar is a great form of loading, enabling your body to harness the power of brachiation (hanging and holding all of your body weight, much in the same way that apes do it.)
So if you’re aiming to hit the highs of 25 non-stop pull-ups you’ll first need to train your upper body to hang from the pull-up bar long enough to do that many reps. Try testing it, hang from a pull-up bar for as long as you can and note down your best time, then double that number and that should give you a good indication of whether or not you can hit your pull-up goal. If you’re aiming to hit 25 and you can only hold on for 30 seconds, it’s highly unlikely you’ll be able to hit your goal. Spend some time practicing your hang. As you’re able to hold on for longer you’ll find that the amount of pull-ups you can do will go up.
The pull-up is a fairly contentious move as it can often cause a pain in the elbows as the arms lock when you allow yourself to hang, especially in older gym goers who have put their joints through the ringer for a number of years. Those people are often advised to use the ab-wheel roll out move to mimic the key body movements of a pull-up. It might sound weird, but think about it, an ab-roll out requires tight abs, a hollow core and an explosion over the top when you come to finish.
Working with the ab wheel actually looks and feels like a proper pull-up attempt, the main difference being that it is harder on the abs and is easier on the elbows as you move your body back and forth between movements.
Try a couple of sets of 10 using the ab-wheel next time you workout. With the mechanics of the ab wheel fresh in your mind and nervous system, do a pull-up with …read more