Darin Davis Fitness
Categories: Exercises and Protocols

Pull Ups

Mercola Article

  • Closed kinetic chain exercise (as are squats and pushups) in which one part of the body is fixed to something solid like the ground or a bar.
  • Excellent, lengthy, detailed article

Three Science-Based Tips to Increase Your Pull-Ups (Jeremy Ethier)

  • Strengthen the prime movers
    • Scapular pull-ups. Target the lower traps
    • Kneeling lat pull-down. Strengthens the lats and the core, as well as the biceps
    • Inverted row. Strengthens the lats, core, arms and mid-traps. Progress this by lowering the bar and/or elevating your feet to get your body more horizontal.
    • Band-assisted pull-up. The closest exercise to the pull-up itself.
    • Negative pull-ups. Work up to a 30 second descent, which will translate to huge strength gains in actual pull-ups.
  • Protocol (goal is 10-12 pull-ups) 2x / week:
    • Scapular pull-ups: 3 sets of 10-15 reps
    • Banded pull-ups: 3 sets of 6-12 reps
    • Kneeling lat pull-downs: 3 sets of 10-15 reps
    • Inverted row: 3 sets of 8-12 reps (lower angle to progress)
    • Pull-up negatives: 2-3 sets (goal is 30 sec descent)
    • Add 2 “max pull-up” sets to the beginning of these workouts and also to 1-2 of your other weights workouts during the week

Four Pull-Ups You’re Never Even Seen (Gareth Sapstead)

  • Resistance bands don’t match the strength curve of the pull-up
  • One-arm eccentric ring pull-up
    • Start standing with bottom of ring at collar bone height. Lower with one arm; opposite arm folded across belly. Return to standing by pulling up with both arms.
  • Rack pull-up
    • Elevate feet on a support to unload partial body weight; no other body part touching the ground
  • Seated pull-up
    • Start in seated position under the bar, arms not quite fully extended overhead.
    • Hold legs in L-seat position throughout the rep.
    • At bottom of rep, relax momentarily before next rep.
  • Kneeling pull-up
    • Adjust the height of the bar based on where strength is lacking. E.g. with the bar set to around head height and over time progress to the bar higher up, eventually progress to arms fully extended overhead.
  • Adjustments
    • Increase difficulty by holding a medicine ball between the knees or wear a weighted vest.
    • Drop set: Perform some reps loaded with additional weight. Reduce the additional weight and perform more reps.

Pronated Face pulls (Jeff Cavaliere)

  • improves your posture, shoulder health, and correction of small muscle imbalances
  • 3 sets of 12-15 high quality repetitions
  • forearm held at 90 degs from upper arm
  • upper arm parallel to the ground
  • hands lead backwards before elbows
  • at full contraction backwards, extend arms up to engage upper traps
  • by using rings, the difficulty can be increased by leaning further back (increasing the angle of the body from vertical) when performing the exercise

Common Pull-Up Mistakes (Jeff Cavaliere)

  • Incorrect hand position. Should be shoulder width apart.
  • Pulling down instead of pulling hands together. Should feel chest muscles engage.
  • Body loose instead of rigid, resulting in energy leaks. Point toes (engage calves), lock knees (engage quads), squeeze gluts, engage core (legs forward).
  • Limit range of motion. Should go all the way down without unpacking the shoulders.
  • Elbows flared out to side instead of angled forward (engages lats more).
  • Back rounded instead of thoracic extension.
  • Reaching up and out to get chin barely over the bar instead of driving chest to bar.
  • Not using drop sets to continue reps after failure. Use a band or inverted row.
  • Programming pull up at end of workout rather than at the beginning.