Learn How to Master the Pull Up
A couple of weeks ago, I did my very first pull up. Oh what a journey it was to learn how to do it! This was a goal that I’d been working on for 16 YEARS! I’ve now increased that number from 1 to 3! How did I learn to do a pull up? I’m going to give you tips to mastering the pull up, which is one of the most daunting fitness tasks… ESPECIALLY for women as we don’t have as much natural upper body strength.
Learn to do a pull up:
So… How did I get there? I know I’m not the only one who wants to conquer this task. I’ve created a list of helpful tips to help you do a pull up for the first time! In addition to these tips, be sure to read The Best Upper Body Exercises to Help You Do Your First Pull Up Quickly!
1. Work On Your Upper Body Back
You’ve got to have some muscle to be able to lift your body up! Try this back workout to get started.
2. The Assisted Pull Up Machine
This machine was integral to my success. This machine allows you to do the pullup motion, without having to carry all of y our body weight. It assists you (hence the name!)! In the months leading up to my first pull-up, I did 3 sets of 8 reps on this machine every single back day. Over time, I slowly decreased the assistance so that I was able to support more of my own weight.
3. Pull Up Assist Bands
If you don’t have access to an Assisted Pull-Up Machine, then grab a pull up band. They will attach to the pull up bar. You put your feet at the bottom of the band and it will assist you as you perform your pull up. The band bears some of the weight, which is how it helps you pull your weight upward. For beginners, I suggest a pull up band that has a high resistance (meaning it will help you more).
4. Hang Out
By hang out, I mean practice hanging like you’re about to do a pull up! This will help your body get accustomed to what you’re trying to make it do. It’ll also help your grip, which is REALLY important for a pull up! You can also do “Flexed Arm Hangs”, where you try to hold the top of the pull up position for as long as possible. This will help by strengthening your shoulders and biceps. When you do flexed arm hangs, lower yourself slowly – and you’ll feel the burn in your biceps!
5. Climb Things
If you’re lucky, your gym might have a rope machine that you can practice pulling yourself up on. Unfortunately, my gym doesn’t have this. So I practiced at a local playground on the fireman’s pole! Try to pull yourself up just a couple of reaches at a time. When I first tried, I could barely get myself up past my own height. But keep at it!
6. Master The Chin Up
Chin ups are slightly easier than pull ups. What’s the difference? First, in a pull up, your palms are facing the same way you are (overhand grip). In a chin up, your palms are facing you (underhand grip). Second, chin ups recruit your bicep muscles, putting less pressure on your back muscles to lift you up! Pull ups focus more on your back muscles (lats).
7. Be Patient
Rome wasn’t built in a day. It took me 16 years to do my first pull up. If you’re persistent and dedicated, it’ll happen!
Other Tips That Will Help You Do Your First Pull Up
1. Don’t look at the bar while you’re doing a pull up.
I know it’s really tempting to see how much more you have to pull up your body. But this actually makes it harder for you! And it can put a lot of strain on your neck!
2. Practice often.
Practice makes perfect, right?!
3. Keep a clean form!
Another crucial point when you train to do a pull up. You don’t want to injure yourself because the muscles involved can be easily injured or strained (i.e., your back).
4. Don’t jump.
I know it’s hard not to start your pull up with a jump but you need to be able to control your bodyweight. Learn how to do a pull up without that extra hop!
You may also be interested in “The Best Upper Body Exercises To Help You Do Your First Pull Up Quickly!“ Pair these great tips with these upper body exercises and you will be doing your first pull up in no time!
What tips do you have for learning to do a pull up?
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