How to Get Your First Pull-up

First Pull Up

How to Get Your First Pull Up:

with Laurie Christine King of Paragon Training Methods and Chuck Bennington of The Gymnastics Course

Scap Pull-up/Lat Activation:

“What we are going to start with is Scap Pull-ups and Lat Activation.  2 things going down at once:  You are going to grip the bar, knuckles on top, thumb around, coming to a vertical hang under the bar.  Pull shoulder blades down into the back pocket, and then push against the bar. See how the shoulder close and lats are active? That’s how we get the big muscles doing their thing. Goal = 8-12 Reps.  

Self-Spotted Pull-up:

We’re not moving into 3 different variances towards a self-spotted pull-up. We are going to start here with barbell on the rack. The first one is more horizontal in the body and what we are looking for is 8-12 Reps. Once you can knock out 8-12 Reps, butt sits down, body is in a nice little L-shape starting to build into a vertical pull. After you can hit 8-12 pulls here consistently, you’re going to set-up off of the knees and the top of the foot, self-spotting through a vertical pull.  Still working on moving the knuckle towards the top, thumb around, shoulders down and back.  

Isometric Hold: 

After we have moved through that self spot pull-up, the next piece is either with a friend as a spotter or using a box. Take yourself into the top of the pull. Working on an isometric hold. The initial hold is 15 seconds.  

3 Second Negative:

Almost towards the end of our progression building towards your first pull-up. From the box or with a friend: that little pause at the top is now controlling through at least a 3 second negative from the top to the bottom.  Reset, and then repeat. Negative or an eccentric. We are looking for 5 reps or 3 seconds each.  

ISO Hold + Negative + Scap Pull-up:

Last stage of progression, we are pulling everything together. So if you have a friend, cool; if you have a box, cool. We are hitting that isometric hold on the top.  Slow control eccentric into a handful of those scap pull-ups and lat activations. 

If you don’t have a friend or box or can’t manage that, you can go back to that earlier progression we showed with the low bar and spot yourself.  

 

  • SCAP PULL-UP/LAT ACTIVATION – 8 – 12 REPS
  • SELF SPOTTED PULL-UP – 8 – 12 REPS
  • ISOMETRIC HOLD – 15 SECONDS
  • SECOND NEGATIVE – 5 REPS
  • 3 SEC ISO HOLD + 3 SEC NEGATIVE + 3 SCAP PULL-UPS – 5 REPS

 

In terms of implementation, you are going to do this about 2-3 times a week.  You basically want to set aside around 10-15 minutes of work.  Remember this is all relative to about how fast you want to get your first pull-up.  So if you are not in a hurry doing it once a week is totally fine, but think about the more often you do this the faster you are going to work toward that first pull-up.” 

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