So the deal is this, pull ups are one hard F*$#ing movement and even if you do 80kg+ deadlifts and a fully loaded 60kg+ back squats like a boss don’t think the pull up will come right up and present itself.
And while I really hate to get into gender biases – here is one of those situations where men are blessed with better upper body strength and can probably crack a pull up far quicker then women. But ladies let that not stop you remember you are lighter and anything that is lighter can be easily lifted!
Why do pull-ups rock?
Remember the “V” shaped back muscle contours that Bruce Lee shows-off in all his movies and the rest of us long for, this is how that happened. When it comes to back development, the pull-up is king. It is a functional movement and trains the body to move its own weight. Classified as a “Closed Kinetic Chain” Exercise (CKC)- your effort moves you, rather than an open kinetic chain where your effort moves an object. CKC exercises allow a more natural range of motion and reduce stress on joints.
Why are they so hard?
A mix up of reasons- you maybe heavy, your back and arm muscles are weak (specifically the lats), your form could be wrong, you are too reliant on assisted/ machine pull ups and last,but most important -you need to practice practice and more practice.
Let’s do this
Give yourself a 1-6 month window depending on your current physical levels to nail this bad-ass movement. Remember you have to practice every day.
Here is a 20-30 minute drill that build support muscles to do the pull up
- Bent Over Dumbbell Rows: 3 x 15 – make sure you increase weights week on week
- Body Rows – 3 x 15 sets – increase reps by 5 every week
- Grip Holds – spend time hanging from the bar strengthening your hold. Hold for max time 5 rounds. When you can hold beyond a minute you are ready!
- Bicep curls – 3 x 15 sets – increase weights every set
- Tricep extensions – 3 x 15 at the bar or with a weight
- Assisted Pull ups – 3 x 15 ( the video shows jumping & with a resistant band, but if your gym has an assisted pull machine that can work too)
- Negative Pull Ups – 3 x 20 jump up to the bar and descend slowly
All good things come to those who wait, work and practice hard. So be patient and focus on training your back muscles. Don’t get frustrated because as soon as you do your first one, you will feel like a king!
I’m getting started on my drill this week, I’m bringing sexy back!