Pull Up Help

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Crtusa, Jul 19, 2016.

  1. Crtusa

    Crtusa Member

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    coming from a female perspective, I was wondering if anyone had any good tips to start doing pull ups. I've been trying to work on all parts of the CFA since I returned from NASS, and I can get:
    40ish ft basketball throw
    6:15ish mile
    70 sit ups
    40ish push ups (getting better each day though)
    8.6 shuttle run
    And 0 pull ups. I bombed the CFA during NASS just because
    1. I couldn't even reach the pull up bar to start a dead hang
    And
    2. My arms/shoulders are really weak

    I've read every article possible on how to improve pull ups, or at least the flexed arm hang. Each day I try to improve my flexed arm hang on a bar that I built on my door, but I can't. From a dead hang, I can maybe pull myself up my a couple inches. I want to retake the CFA as soon as I can, but it's quite frustrating. Today I took one of the weights from my family's bench press and was trying to raise it in the same form as a pull up, and I guess I'll see how that goes. I just feel really discouraged since it seems like the CFA/fitness in general is the easiest part to pass for everyone in terms of qualifying for any SA/ROTC. Any tips?
    Anything is appreciated. Thank you!
     
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  2. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    Common question. Suggest browsing "CFA" and other search terms under various academy threads.

    You will also see several sites recommended, including the one below. Stew is a former SEAL, USNA grad and USNA staff officer.

    http://www.stewsmith.com/linkpages/serviceacademycfa.htm

    No big secret. Get your form right. Do the work. Don't stop. Those pull-up assist machines at the gym can be a big help if you feel stuck at the beginning.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2016
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  3. dancing_falcon

    dancing_falcon Member

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    Another thing that helps is a band. It's just a circular rubber band that is really long and they come in all different strengths. You can probably find one at a sporting goods store and all you have to do is attach it to a pull-up bar, put your foot in it, and pull up that way. The band helps take off some of your body weight's pressure on your arms so you can build up the muscle that way.
     
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  4. Crtusa

    Crtusa Member

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    That's a really good idea - I think I have one. You don't think it'll break though? I mean obviously if I don't put all my weight on it. Thanks!
     
  5. FloridaToUSMA2021

    FloridaToUSMA2021 Member

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    Just put your knee in it, not your foot that way you have better balance and it won't stretch to the point where it might break or lose its strength.
     
  6. Blondie1

    Blondie1 Member

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    We bought a pull-up for DS's doorway--every time he went in or out he did as many pull-ups as he could.
     
  7. DanGir

    DanGir Member

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    Check out this video:
     
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  8. Casey

    Casey USMA 2015

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    Climbing ropes helped me with my pull ups faster than anything else. It's a good mix of being able to use your feet if you can make a good lock and using upper body strength until you're able to pull up yourself just with your arms.
     
  9. zachcleigh

    zachcleigh Member

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    Negatives help. Get on a stool or chair and be in the "up position" for pull ups, then slowly drop into a dead hang. Make sure it's as slow as possible. Do this 20-50 times a day. Depending who you are, you'll be able to do a pull up in 2-5 weeks. Once you get the first, the rest come a lot easier.
     
  10. HopefulDad3210

    HopefulDad3210 Member

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    Here's another thought for what it's worth. If you have access to a gym that has a squat rack, put a bar with no weight on it on the rack just a bit further from the floor than your arm length. Then lay flat on the floor under it with your shoulders more or less directly under it. Then, keeping your body straight, lift your chest up to touch the bar. That will strengthen your back and lats and give you a good foundation. I'm an overweight old guy and that got me doing overhand pull ups eventually. Good luck.
     
  11. SDMom2019

    SDMom2019 Member

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    I agree. I used this method when I was younger to meet the pull up requirement to be on a Hotshot Crew. We all (male and female) had to be able to do 7 pull-ups (among other things) to make the crew. I couldn't even do 1 when I first started, but I worked my way up to where I could do about 10 by just doing negatives to start with, then doing as many as I could do and continuing with negatives once I had reached failure.
     
  12. Milly

    Milly Member

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    My daughter borrowed one of those bars that can be hung in the doorway of her bedroom. The best way to develop the muscles to do a pull up is to DO the pull up, as much as you can. If you can use a chair to get up, then lower yourself slowly, that helps. Or lower partway and pull yourself back up. Put it together piece by piece.

    But, if I may.....go back to your CFA scores. You did well, it seems. Maxed on the shuttle run. Close to max on the pushups. Great, nearly maxed on the mile. (You're fast!) With a little work, you will max on the pushups and probably situps too. I'd bet if you practice positioning etc on the basketball throw, that will go up too. Did you try the flexed arm hang? My understanding is that the CFA is not a huge percentage of your application and while it is great to work to improve it (and all midshipmen need some upper body strength), still, one could obsess over the pull up too much. How tall are you? If you are a tall female, the pull up will not come easily. Having said that, my tall long-armed daughter got 2 pull-ups on her CFA at NASS after having been convinced she'd never be able to do even one. So go figure. Now, I think she is up to 4. Onward and upward.

    Do I sound like I think I am an expert? hahahaha I'm not! You seem like you are on a great path! Good luck!
     

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