Evolution of Pullups

October 11, 2010

Today I’m going to show you the evolution of pull-ups, going from a beginner style to the hardest kind you can do. If you are new to pull-ups and cant do any actual pull-ups, you want to start with an inverted row. You will be underneath a bar and rowing your chest up to the bar. It’s a great way to start.

You can do a beginner version of inverted rows by bending your knees. Hold onto the bar with an overhand grip. Keep your hips up and pull your chest up to the bar. Squeeze your shoulder blades at the top. This will help strengthen the muscles between your shoulder blades, the back of your shoulders and your lats.

Once you are a little stronger, you can straighten your legs out, switch to an underhand grip. This will work your biceps more. For underhand inverted rows, you will have more of a narrow grip and pull your chest to the bar.

Next well switch back to an overhand grip and back to a wider grip. This is back to working the muscles at the back of the shoulder blades and between the shoulder blades. You can put your feet up on a stability ball to give you more of a challenge.

Those are all inverted row variations to get you started.

Next are assisted pull-ups and chin-ups. You need to take the bar of your squat rack and set it up about head height. You will be doing the pull-up and chin-up movement, but you will still be standing on the floor. This is for beginners as well. Simply work as much as possible with your upper body while using a little bit of assistance from your lower body. Squat down and use your arms and back as much as possible to pull yourself up. Use as much of your legs as you need to assist you. Use an underhand grip if you are doing chin-ups and an overhand grip for pull-ups.

By doing this, it will get you used to the motion of the actual exercise. Pull downs on the machine are ok, but these exercises are going to be better and will help you build pull up and chin-up strength.

Now we can move into the negatives pull-ups and chin ups. This refers to the lowering phase of them. You can do these if you still cant do a pull-up or chin-up yet. Youll want to work your way up so that lowering phase is at 10 seconds. Once you can do this, you are very close to being able to do a pull-up or chin-up.

Use something to boost you up to the bar. You are going to jump up and take 10 seconds to lower yourself down. Get back up on the riser and do another one. If you are a beginner, a 3 second count on the way down is a good place to start. If you cant do the 3 second count, then you need to go back to an easier style until you are strong enough to do these. You may need to go all the way back to pull-downs.

One thing I like to do with pull-downs is to kneel in front of the machine rather than sitting down. This keeps your body in a straight line.

So now you can do a full chin-up and pull-up. The underhand grip of a chin-up is easier than a pull-up. There is also another style called a neutral grip pull-up which is as easy as a chin-up. When you are doing these, your palms will be facing each other. Pull-ups are an overhand grip and your hands are a little wider apart. I wouldn’t recommend going all the way out to the end of the bar, just slightly wider than shoulder width is good.

Finally, there is a variation called a sternum pull-up. Get into an overhand, wider grip and lean back as you pull-up. There are many variations of doing pull-ups you can do, but that is the evolution of pull-ups by starting with inverted rows in a beginner phase all the way to doing your first full pull-up. By doing these, you are going to get stronger and get that beach body with a “V” taper shape.

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