Master Pull-Ups Part 2

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THE SECOND OF THE ‘MASTER PULL-UPS’ SERIES.

CLICK HERE TO READ PART 1

PART 2 IS FOR THOSE WANTING TO UP THE ANTE FROM REGULAR PULL-UPS.

When you can perform more than 5 pull-ups without resting or letting go of the bar, you should look to include different hand positions and variations to continually challenge yourself.

These variations will place greater stress on specific areas while further testing your grip strength. You should still include regular pull-ups in your workout; however you should aim to include one of these exercises beforehand, ideally at the start of the training session.

Pick a different variation from the list every 4 weeks to start your session with once per week.

WEIGHTED PULL-UPS

Increasing the load you are shifting is one of the simplest ways of progressing, your muscles repairing and growing back stronger to deal with the added stress. Use a weights belt or hold a dumbbell between your feet. Start by using 5kg of weight and increase the resistance by 5kg when you can achieve 5 reps.

With the added resistance you should aim to increase your rest time by 30s to ensure you are fully recovered for each set.

Try completing 4 sets of 5 reps.

DIAGONAL PULL-UPS

Placing more of your bodyweight onto one side of your body during the pull-up will help isolate each side of your body in turn, allowing for specific strengthening of each side. Pulling your body up diagonally from a hanging position so one arm is bent and the other extended at the top of the rep, places around 75% of the load on the pulling side and helps to balance your strength gains on both sides of your body equally.

The beauty about this exercise is that although one side of your body is placed under great stress, as you alternate to the other side it is not rested, as it still assists with the opposite diagonal pull-up. You may fatigue quicker on this movement but the results will be phenomenal!

With the diagonal pull-up ensure you control your body back down under tension so as not to risk injury. Aim to fully extend both arms at the bottom of the rep for full range of motion.

Try completing 3 sets of 4-12 (2-6 on each side)

PARALLEL BAR PULL-UPS

Using the parallel grips you’ll be using a ‘neutral grip’, your palms facing each other.

This variation places more emphasis on the biceps and muscles in the forearms; the brachialis of the upper arm and brachioradialis, located in your forearm. This builds on possible weak areas in your pull-up, in this case; grip and arm strength.

As the elbows are closer to your body as you pull-up with the neutral grip, the trapezius muscles of the upper back and upper part of the latissimus dorsi are primarily targeted out of the back muscles.

For this reason you’ll be developing, potentially underworked muscle groups and a more aesthetically pleasing back!

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