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15 Exercises to Get You to Your First Pull Up

Your First Pull Up – Let’s Go!


Your First Pull Up Featured
Pull Ups are the ultimate separator. People will rave about their bench press max, their curl weight, and even their squat. But, ask them how many pull-ups they can pump out and an awkward silence descends. Why? Because pull-ups are hard work. But that doesn’t mean that they have been beyond your reach. Like most things, you simply have to work up to your first pull up.

15 Exercises to Get You to Your First Pull Up



















Here are 15 moves that will get you to your first pull up inside of 4 weeks. (Note: many of these exercises require a pull up bar. You can find a pull up bar to practice on at your gym, in the park, or just buy one for yourself.) Get started on your way to your first pull up.

1. Dead Hang

For many people forearm and wrist gripping power is central to their inability to perform a pull up. Simply hanging from the pull up bar in the start position of a pull up enables you to strengthen you pull up grip. Start with 3 sets of 30 second holds then add 10 seconds per workout.

2. Dead Hand Shrug

Hang from the bar in the beginning pull up position. Your hands should be slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Now shrug your shoulders up and flare your shoulder blades toward the bar. Do not bend the elbows, but rather bring the scapulae down and together for maximum lat activation. Perform 3 sets of 10 reps.

3. Low Inverted Pull Ups

Position yourself under a low fixed bar such as a fence rail. Grab the bar in an overhand grip with arms slightly wider than shoulder width. Your knees should be bent with feet together so that your hamstrings are parallel to the ground. Keeping your back arched, pull up to bring the chest to the bar. Squeeze the lats in the top position and then slowly lower. Do 3 sets of 10 reps.



4. Suspension Band Pull Ups

Attach the suspension trainer to a ceiling mount and adjust the straps to a short length. Sit directly beneath the suspension trainer and reach up to grab the handles with an overhand grip. Walk your feet out in front of you so they are angled at thirty degrees.Keeping your feet flat on the ground, pull from your scapulae to lift your body up to the level of the handles. Hold the contracted position for a second before slowly returning to the start position. Perform 3 sets of 10-12 reps.

5. Suspension Band T-Pull

Adjust the suspension trainer to mid-length. Stand facing the anchor point and grab the handles in an overhand grip. Lean back so that your body is on a 30 degree angle with the arms extended and handles together. Pull the handles apart to bring your body to an upright position. Make sure that your arms are locked and the movement is being initiated through the upper back. Hold the peak contraction for a second and then lower very slowly back to a 30-degree position. Perform 3 sets of 8 reps.

6. Smith Machine Inverted Rows

Set up the Smith Machine bar at chest height and stand facing it. Grip the bar at shoulder width and have your feet together directly under the bar. Now extend your arms back so that your body is angled away from the bar. Keeping your back arched, pull your chest toward the bar. Hold the peak contraction at the top of the movement and then slowly return to the start position. Perform 3 sets of 10 reps.

7. Inverted Towel Rows

Loop a towel around a solid, fixed object such as the support of a power rack or, if outside, a tree. Grab the handles in an overhand grip such that the palms are facing each other. Your feet should be together at the base of the stationary object. Now extend your arms back so that your body is angled away from the stationary object. Keeping your back arched, pull your chest toward the object. Hold the peak contraction at the top of the movement and then slowly return to the start position. Perform 3 sets of 10 reps.

8. Sliding Pull Ups

Lie face down on a sliding floor with your palms on the floor at shoulder width and elbows bent. Place a towel under your torso. Now, push your upper body back to extend your arms and move your body away from your hands (as if doing the lowering part of a pull up). Reverse the motion to bring your head back toward your hands. Perform 3 sets of 8 reps.

9. Platform Inverted Pull Ups

Position yourself under a fixed bar such as a fence rail or the bar of a smith machine. Place your feet on a bench positioned a few feet in front of you so that your legs are straight. Grab the bar in an overhand grip with arms slightly wider than shoulder width. Keeping your back arched and legs straight, pull up to bring the chest to the bar. Squeeze the lats in the top position and then slowly lower. Do 3 sets of 10 reps.

10. Lat Pulldowns

The lat pulldown exercise with a cable machine is the reverse action of a pull up. You bring the weight down to you instead of lifting your body up to the bar. The beauty of this exercise is that you are able to adjust the resistance level. Start light and build up to your body weight. Pull the bar down to the front to touch your upper chest.

11. Bench Assisted Pull Up Hold

Use a bench to help you get into the top position of the chin up. Reach up to grab the bar with an underhand shoulder width grip. Now pull yourself so that your chin is over the bar. Cross your feet over and do not swing. Hold this position for as long as you can. At the start you’ll only get a few seconds. Progressively you’ll build to around half a minute.

12. Waist High Pull Ups

Position a bar between two uprights at waist level. Grabbing the bar with hands shoulder-width apart extend your feet out in front of you. Your body should now be at a thirty degree angle to the floor. Pull through the back muscles to bring your chest to the bar.  Do 3 sets of 8 reps.

13. Negative Pull Up

Use a bench to help you get into the top position of the pull up. Reach up to grab the bar with an underhand shoulder width grip. Now pull yourself so that your chin is over the bar. Lower yourself back to the start position to a slow count of 10. It is vital that you resist gravity every step of the way. Climb back onto the box for the next rep. Perform 3 sets of 8.

14. Resistance Loop Band Pull Ups

Place a resistance loop band over the middle of the pull-up bar. Place one knee in the band loop and allow the assistance of the band to help you to pull up to the bar. The band will help you in the hardest part of the movement, which is the extended arm position.

15. Isometric Holds

Use a bench to help you to get into the top position of a pull-up. Now perform isometric holds for 5-10 seconds in various phases of the descent. Start in the top contracted position, squeezing your shoulder blades together as you hold. Next drop to a quarter descent for 5 seconds, then a half and three-quarter decent.

Wrap-Up

The 15 exercises described above are all designed to progressively develop the strength of your upper back, arms and shoulder muscles to allow you to perform your first pull up. Choose 4 of these exercises to perform 3 times per week on alternate days. In just 4 weeks, you’ll be ready to nail your first pull up – guaranteed!
GOOD LUCK!!!

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