07-06-2013, 12:47 PM
I´m kinda revisiting some fundamental movements at the moment, starting with the pull-up.
So I´m wondering if the kind people on this board would share their best resources on pull-up technique, be it sites, books or videos. I´m looking for everything from basic to advanced. Basic posture for beginners, the strict dead hang pull-up using no momentum to CrossFit style kipping and other more advanced "efficiency techniques"...
07-07-2013, 05:10 PM
I am just copying and pasting this from previous posts that I have made, so let me know if you need more information. This is the basic model of what I use at my gym for people who cannot do a single pullup. We use pullups as a basic measure of strength, guide for injury prevention, etc. We want all of our lifters to be able to do dead hang pullups. Period. We don't allow kipping of any kind at our gym, so that's not even an issue.
My superheavy male can do 8 chinups at 125 kg bodyweight, and I did 5 pullups the other day at 80 kg bodyweight and can probably do 8-10 chinups, so we certainly expect our itty bitty 48 - 69 kg women to be able to do pullups and chinups.
This is my response to the question of how to help someone get their first pullup:
First of all, if someone cannot do ten consecutive pushups from their toes, I would not put them on a pullup bar yet. I'm not saying that 10 is a hard and fast rule, but if someone cannot do 10 consecutive pushups, then I don't think they have the shoulder and "core" strength to be able to safely do a pullup. I'm not saying this applies to everyone specifically, but I just want to throw this out there as a qualifier that I use because I like to err on the side of caution as a person with a prior shoulder injury and as a non-fucking-stupid coach.
I use bands for pullups. You either need two bands to start or you need the Rage Pullup Assist. We use the Rage Pullup Assist at my gym because it is easy to gauge - you either need one, two, or three bands for your sets, and all of the bands are the same resistance. Using the Pullup Assist, once three bands becomes easy, then you move down to two bands, etc. Plus, the Pullup Assist is MUCH cheaper than buying separate bands through Rogue or MuscleDriver, etc. You can find it at http://www.amazon.com/Rage-Fitness-Pull-up-Assist/dp/B004AM0K5E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1359232324&sr=8-1&keywords=rage+pull+up+assist.
If you buy separate bands then it's kind of a guessing game, which is why I don't like it. If you are at a gym that already has a bunch of bands, that's perfect. But, if you have to buy your own bands, I would totally use the Pullup Assist. The first (heavier) band should be the lightest one where you can do 2 sets of 10 pullups without failing a rep. There is a possibility that some people won't be able to do 10 pullups on the heaviest available band, and that's okay. In that case, use the heaviest band and do 2 sets of max reps. The second (lighter) band should be the lightest band where you can only manage to do one or two reps before you fail a rep. Since single bands can be expensive if you have to buy them yourself, it would make sense to try to find two lighter bands of different resistance that when used together could serve as the heavier band if you don't want to buy the Pullup Assist for some reason. Because the goal is to move down in resistance, and you want as many options as possible for resistance.
Workout A: 2 (or 3) x 10 pullups followed by 5 negatives
Workout B: 10 x 1 pullups followed by 5 negatives
For workout A, as soon as you have a two weeks of doing 2 x 10 , you are going to move to 3 x 10 (or 2 x 10 plus 1 x max reps if you can't get 10 on the final set). As soon as you get to 3 x 10 consistently, you will want to move down to the next lightest band and start the process over at 3 x 10 or 3 x max reps if you cannot get 10 reps on each set.
For workout B, you are going to allow yourself enough rest time in between reps so that you can get 10 x 1 reps without failure. If you find the lightest band that you can do a single pullup and can't get to 10 reps with rest, fine. Do singles for max sets and try to add a set each time.
For workout B, as soon as you get to 10 x 1 consistently, you will try to do doubles on as many sets as possible until you get to 5 x 2. Then you will repeat the process to try to get triples on as many sets as possible. If the band you are using for this workout is not the lightest band available, then she can move down to the next lightest band and repeat the process. If it IS the lightest band and you are doing triples on it, then you are probably really close to doing an unassisted pullup.
So, workout A might be Monday, and workout B might be Thursday. I would start with twice a week and see how sore you are. Once you know you aren't going to be super sore, then add a third day per week. I would do Workout B again, or you could alternate with one week being ABA and then next week being BAB.
I am also not opposed to lat pulldowns. I was doing lat pulldowns, and I ended up with a dead hang pullup a lot faster than most girls I know.
I had a lot of success greasing the groove to improve my pushups, and I know that some people do this for pullups. You could try alternating A and B on Mon/Wed/Fri instead of just Tues/Thurs. But, like I said, gauge your soreness. I just know lots of people who have had overuse injuries from pullups, and that happened to me more than once as well. So, I would be careful not to get too crazy with reps.
As soon as you have a SINGLE dead hang pullup, workout B changes to 10 x 1 (or singles for max sets) WITHOUT BANDS. Get off the bands and knock out as many reps as you can without bands for as many sets as you can. This is key.
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