Advice about pull ups?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by lillian, Oct 10, 2013.

  1. lillian

    lillian Candidate

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    I have been trying to focus more on pull ups for the last few months...but I've hit a plateau in my training. I can do a couple dozen or so controlled negatives with no problem, but I can't even get one actual full pull up. I have a lot of trouble at the ends of the range of motion, but I can pull easily through the middle. I think it might be a problem with my form. Does anybody have any tips for pull ups?
     
  2. jaydee

    jaydee Member

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    Make sure you are doing your negatives as slow as possible, I cannot stress this enough. I always tried to do a real one before jumping into negatives to see if I was making any progress.

    If you've been doing both of those, it may be an issue with your core. You can have developed lats and still just hang from the bar if your core is not strong enough to engage to make your body rigid for the upward movement. Toes to bar and L sits while hanging from the bar will help strengthen if this is an issue.

    Before training I could maybe do 5 pullups max. I broke my collar bone the year I was applying went from 0 to 14 in 3ish months. You can do this. Just keep at it.
     
  3. Texasrocks

    Texasrocks Member

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    If you have a pool nearby, hang from the diving board starting at the end. As you get stronger move towards the deck as the board has less flex and you will not be as deep in the water. Worked for lots of girl swimmers on the team we had since the water helped with support and still allowed you free range to pull up.
     
  4. Swim4Life

    Swim4Life Member

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    In all honestly pull ups just take practice. There really isn't anything that you can do besides just working on them. The thing about pull ups though is that it is 100 times harder to get from 0 pullups to 5 then it is to get from 5 to 15. I highly suggest that when you do negative pull ups that you go down slowly. About 3 seconds for the whole thing. My swim coach used to have the people who were not good at pull-ups (mostly girls) to hold their negative pull-up halfway through on the down motion. Also make sure that on the way up you don't climb up but jump up!

    Good Luck!
     
  5. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Add weight (external, don't eat more to gain it) and work on getting the same number of pull-ups without the weight. When you lose the extra weights, it will feel easier. Also work on form. Alot of pull-ups is about form. Pumping them out until failure is much easier than starting and stopping. Once you get stuck in a hanging position, it's hard to get moving again.

    And more than anything, pull ups are strength, so work on building the muscles you use for a pull up.


    Good luck!
     
  6. ActaNonVerba

    ActaNonVerba Member

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    Dude, hands down, google the 'Recon Ron Pull-up Program' and follow that. I went from being able to do 18 to being able to do 25 perfect, dead-hang pull-ups. Granted I started at a higher week/level, but that is the best program I've ever used for pull-ups. I found that with negatives, you can hit a major plateau. We are all different, however. Weighted pull-ups also work wonders.
     
  7. fly boy

    fly boy Candidate

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  8. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    The first one is the most important. Get that first one any way you can.
    Then, go to negatives and lat pull down exercises.

    For the semi-cheater confidence building, lean back a little. It engages your muscles a little differently.
     
  9. Trey

    Trey Member

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    I'm 13 and not skinny (135 lbs) and I an do 5 pull-ups max. Along with the negatives, try some flexed arm hangs. Another thing I do is put my feet up on a chair in front of me and support myself up. Maybe liftiing up half my weight. Good luck!
     
  10. Buff-IP

    Buff-IP USAFA '88 Pilot

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    Your pull-ups are limited by the weakest muscle in use. The movement from full extension to half is significantly easier than from half to full up...

    There are machines that you can use that make you essentially weigh less so you can do pull-ups...find one of those and set a weight that will allow you to do 20 or so...then keep increasing the weight while still doing the 20 (min) pull-ups.
     
  11. USAFA10s

    USAFA10s USAFA Class of 2012 WPAFB

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  12. ActaNonVerba

    ActaNonVerba Member

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    I say again: Recon Ron
     
  13. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Wii pull-ups. Or have your Sim do pull-ups! :wink:

    There's been some pretty good advice here, good luck! :thumb:
     
  14. USAFA10s

    USAFA10s USAFA Class of 2012 WPAFB

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    ActaNonVerba, if I am not mistaken, Recon Ron assumes you can already do 6 pullups, I believe the OP is asking about getting that ever elusive FIRST pullup. Getting from 0 to 1 is the hard part. 1-8 (the girl's max at USAFA) is much easier.
     
  15. LongAgoPlebe

    LongAgoPlebe Member

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    Normally I don't post over here in Falcon country, but I have to chime in. During my time at USNA (c/o 1993) pullups were requirements of neither the CFA nor the PFT. I never did one and envied the heck out of my classmates who could - and with no data to back it up, I suspect there were many fewer then than now. Fast forward to 2011. I'm now 39 and get a wild hair that I want to do a pullup before I'm 40 (Feb. 2012). I started on the assisted pullup machine and got down to 20# of assistance - still couldn't do a pullup. I worked up to lat pulldowns, up to 8 reps of 130# (I weigh 145#). I can still do 90 situps in 2 minutes. Still couldn't do a pullup. Just made me shake with frustration.

    In July 2011 I found Melody's tips on another site and started following the instructions. Did my first pullup on October 26, 2011, three months before I turned 40. A week later I did 2. On my 40th birthday, I did 6. I now regularly do 5 at a time, and if I'm feeling particularly squirrely can make it to 8 (but pay the next day!). Don't give up! It really is, likely, an issue of training your muscles to work together in a way that they have not before. Also, notice that although I was clearly strong enough to do it, it took me three months to coordinate them to produce the pullup - but then again, I hadn't done one since I was 9 or 10 and a super-skinny tomboy. Be patient, follow her tips and training, and don't give up! There is NO PHYSIOLOGICAL REASON that girls and women cannot do pullups!
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2013
  16. Buff-IP

    Buff-IP USAFA '88 Pilot

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    That link had good stuff that even some of the gravity challenged guys could use (not me, this is one of the few exercises I found easy).

    The author by using all of those exercises found her weak muscles and isolated and improved them.
     
  17. lillian

    lillian Candidate

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    Thank you everybody for all these tips and references!! It has all been very helpful, and I'm already beginning to improve. :)
     

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