Lets face it not everyone can do Pull ups and if you are one of those people, you probably wish you could. Pull ups are a very basic compound bodyweight exercise that involves being suspended from a bar and pulling your bodyweight up till your chin is above bar level. We have put together a few exercises that will help you get started and successfully be able to complete one pull up.
Negatives- Simply starting from the top position of a pull up instead of the bottom. To do this you can either jump up to the top of the bar and hold on, or use a chair or bench to stand on and get to the top position. Once you are in the up position slowly lower yourself to the down position or dead hang. Repeat this for 3-5 sets of 10 reps. Make sure you focus on slowly lowering yourself down with a controlled movement.
Lat Pull-down Machine- Every gym should have one and they usually have directions on the machine. Basically you sit on a stool and instead of pulling yourself up to a bar you pull the bar down to you. Most weight stacks range from 10-300 lbs so pick a weight you feel comfortable with and start with 3-5 sets of 10-15 reps . The more your body gets used to this movement keep adding weight to the exercise and after a few weeks doing one pull up should be no problem.
Supine Pull ups- Also known as Australian pull ups they take less work than a standard pull up. You start by laying underneath a bar (put about a foot longer than arm length up on a power/squat rack) and by doing more of a laying down pull up you are pulling less bodyweight but at the same time strengthening the muscles involved with a standard pull up.
Graviton Machine- You can find these machines at some gyms. They are basically assisted pull up / dip machines. These machines are used to assist people who cant pull their full bodyweight by making it less weight to pull up. By kneeling on a pad that is attached to a weight stack you can select a desired weight that will help you do pull ups with less of your bodyweight. As you get more comfortable with the weight you can decrease it until you are able to do them unassisted.
Assisted Pull ups- You perform all the steps of a pull up but someone stands behind you and assists you by pushing up on your back to help you perform the pull up. The person assisting should make it easier for you to perform the pull up but should not be doing all the work.
All of these are good methods to use if you are struggling to do one pull up. If you are able to do one pull up the best way to increase your pull ups is to keep doing them even if it means just doing one at a time, 10-20 times a day, a couple times a week.
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