Mastering the Pull Up
At CrossFit 2920 Tomball, mastering the pull up is likely the number one movement most people want to accomplish when starting on a new fitness journey. Why shouldn’t it be? It doesn’t require much equipment, and the movement builds upper body strength that transfers over to many other movements.
Whether the issue is getting your chin over the bar, or mastering the kip you want to avoid wasting your time on pointless things that will not help.
Below is a list of favorite drills and exercises to work on, to get you on the road to getting above the bar. They have been borrowed from Sean Lind, the founder of Conjugate Gymnastics.
KNOW YOUR WEANESS(ES)
- Struggling with more reps
- Better technique
- Better Strength
Find these things out by knowing your max reps of unbroken strict pull ups, you max set of unbroken kipping pull ups. Can’t do any of the following without a band then start on “Building Strength”. That’s your weakness.
- Train your grip strength (Unable to perform single arm hip taps)
Supported wrist rolls (VIDEO)
- Develop a powerful PULL: (0 strict pull ups)
Feet supported progressions (VIDEO)
Addition to these progressions, build your strength by doing variations of pulling movements. (Rope climbs, Ring Rows, Body rows, chest supported rows, Lat pull downs)
6 x 5 reps strict pull ups (feet supported)
6-8 rotations of wrist rolls
50/50 chest supported DB Rows/ Bicep curls
NO MORE NEGATIVES
Eccentrics don’t help build strength. They do however assist in muscle size and density. It is better to just work on the holding position of a pull up with the chin over the bar.
These slow eccentric tear down the muscle to hard and require extended recover time especially with beginners and intermediate athletes.
Do not neglect the scapula:
IM STRONG ENOUGH BUT CANT KIP
- You should have 5-10 good strict pull ups before progressing to the kip
- Too many athletes break at the hip on as they try to kip. Which just requires more force to complete.
- This causes them to lose there hollow positions.
To work on the hollow position as well a the arch that goes along with it, don’t think about the pull ups and just practice the swing. Get comfortable with it, and to help you stay tight hold a towel or yoga block between your feet.
Example of Training drills
Station 1: Strict Pull ups (feet supported progressions) 5-8 reps
Station 2: 5-10 Kipping Swings
x 3-5 sets
FROM THE CACOON TO THE BUTTERFLY:
Let me just start with this:
Please Please Please don’t rush to get here!!!!
A good coach will not let an athlete perform a clean until they have a solid deadlift and front squat.
It’s the same principle trying to transition into a butterfly pull up.
- You should be able to have great kipping pull ups for high volumes (20+ repetitions)
- If not then your joints and muscles aren’t ready for the butterfly
- Spend the majority of the time practicing the motion without worrying about the height
- Unlike the kip that involves moving forward and back, it’s a constant forward motion.
Over Head Squats
6 x 3 reps
10 Power Cleans (135, 95)
20 SA KB Walking OH Lunges (53/35)
(10 steps each arm)
AMRAP 20 minutes of:
• 5 pull-ups
• 10 push-ups
• 15 squats