In this month’s tutorial, we take a closer look at the pull up, and how to become more skilful at it. Alongside pushing, pulling is a fundamental movement pattern that is developed early in life. As young children, our first experience of pulling is when we learn to grab objects and pull them towards us, as well as pulling ourselves up to a standing position. Once we are upright, pulling movements demand more strength and skill, as we learn to hang and climb. As adults, we’ve become obsessed with pull ups (and variations of) but it’s important to first take a step back and consider some of the building blocks and set-up elements.
Whether your aim is to become a pull up ninja or simply develop your pull up to support other movements, we’ll teach you how to perform it efficiently, and when you’re ready, progress to more advanced variations.
Before moving on, it’s worth mentioning that the pull up in this tutorial will be performed with a overhand grip. While some may refer to this as a chin up, we feel the overhand grip offers more flexibility for progression to advanced movements. Note that the pull up will work the entire body, including much of the lower body – and this is dependent on proper body position.
From the side, the above position will appear like a slight concave (hollow) shape of the body – held together tightly with correct muscle activation. This will protect the joints and reducing energy leakage during the movement.
TIPS AND PROGRESSIONS
The pull up is a simple and highly effective foundational movement, serving as an essential building block for advanced skills, like the muscle up. To enjoy injury-free movement, don’t forget to focus on the pull up elements, including isometric training and swinging. When progressing with the pull up, remember that it’s not about scoring points, but instead to develop skill and efficiency. Make pull ups an integral part of your training program, and watch your strength and control improve in a short space of time.
Don’t forget to share your pull up experiences with us via Facebook and Instagram!