Do you struggle to do one pull-up? Can you do a few pull-ups but quickly fatigue? Do you need to do chin-ups or use a band for assistance instead? Great. We can work with that. The ability to be able to do pull-ups doesn’t come overnight. It takes some time to strengthen your back, arms, and shoulders, as well as working on your mobility. Just because you can’t do a pull-up now doesn’t mean you can never do one. Practice these three exercises as we are pretty sure you pull-up game will get better in no time.
These three exercises test your mobility and strength so that you can keep coming back to them to learn your progress.
Wall slides test the shoulder mobility. If your shoulders aren’t very mobile then it keeps you away from building strength in some muscles as well as having a good range of motion.
How to perform a wall slide?
- Stand with your back against the wall. The back of your heels should touch the wall as well.
- Place your hands about a foot away from your shoulder with the back of your hands touching the wall. Your arms should look like a ‘W’.
- With your elbow keeping contact with the wall, as well as, your upper back and butt slide your hands up the wall as high as you can without any part of your body coming away from the wall.
- The goal here is to touch your hands over the top of your head. If you cannot, then your mobility needs some work.
- Practice this exercise about 10 times before moving on. Be sure to have your movements slow and controlled.
Negative Pull-Ups work on your back, biceps, and grip strength without needing the exact strengthen for pull-ups. Some would argue that negative pull-ups are harder than actual pull-ups.
- Begin in a regular pull-up position. Unlike regular pull-ups, you will want the bar to be lower. The bar should be at a height where you can jump up and hold your chin over the bar. A box can be used too if you cannot get a bar low enough.
- By gripping the bar with your palms facing out and your grip a little wider than shoulder-width a part, jump your body off of the ground and hold your chin over the bar for a second.
- After you have held this for a second, begin lower your body back to the ground very slowly.
- If you can give yourself a count of 5 ‘Missississippis’ before your feet touch the ground again.
- Practice this exercise 5-10 times before moving on.
Lat Pull Downs
Some could argue that the only way to do pull-ups is to practice them. We aren’t saying they are wrong but strengthening the big lat muscles that are used in pull-ups doesn’t hurt either. Doing lat pulldowns are a lot similar to pull-ups, except they don’t use your core as much. You can do lat pulldowns either with a resistance band or on a lat pulldown machine.
Jumping Pull-ups Workout
Then after these exercises, put yourself to the test with this workout –
Perform this workout by doing 10 Jumping Pull-ups and 1 Burpee, then 9 Jumping Pull-ups and 2 Burpees, etc.
A jumping pull-up is also a great way to strengthen your pull-ups. You want to situate yourself with a bar that is as high as your wrists when you put your arms overhead. Then gran the bar, but allow your arms to hang straight under the bar. This means that your knees will bend. Then pull your chin up over the bar, while jumping for assistance. Remember to still try and use your upper body strength as much as possible and not rely on the jump. Additionally, between each repetition, you want to make sure you get back in that hanging position where your arms are completely straight under the bar.
Looking for additional pull-up challenges, try this one!