How to Do a Pullup


Ivan, age 7, training in Russia

       Spending the majority of your life under 90 pounds means that you take some things for granted. Being able to do as many pull-ups as you want is one of those things. It has been recently brought to my attention that not everyone can do pull-ups. Apparently, they aren’t easy. Apparently, I am an ass for insinuating that they are. Apparently, I am belittling people who are trying their best.

       I would have to agree. Because as Nelson Mandela once said: “You are not as good as me if I can do more pull-ups than you.”

Pretty sure he’s talking about burpees

       Due to this shocking revelation I am going to offer some advice on how to accomplish your goal of doing your first pull-up. Just a word of encouragement before we start. The first pull-up you do is going to be the hardest to get. But once you do, and you will get it, you are going to feel like a goddamn champion, because you are, and then you can go around telling everyone you meet that you can do a pullup.

       The first method that I would recommend would be to get a chair. Pull yourself to the top of the pull-up using your legs and arms. Move your feet off the chair. Lower yourself as slowly to the ground as you can. Repeat this for 3 sets of 10 reps.

       Basically, your body is much stronger on the eccentric, or lowering portion of a motion, this way you can strengthen your muscles as they lengthen until you become strong enough to preform the concentric portion of the motion as well.

Here is a video of Joe Defranco explaining this in more detail:

Good Luck!


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