This exercise provided courtesy of Billy Polson, founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006.
Show yourself a little love with this pull-up that ends with a "kiss" to the back of your hand. This kiss is the reward for the extra hard work your lats will need to do to get up to kissing level in the first place.
Take a position facing high pull-up bars and grasp the handles at more than shoulder-distance apart. Your arms will be extended above you, and your hands should grip the bars with palms facing away from you (see Photo 1).
- From the starting position, pull yourself vertically upward by bending your elbows and using your upper back. Your shoulders should stay down. At the top of your motion, and without craning your neck, place a "kiss" on the back of one hand (see Photos 2 and 3).
- Lower yourself slowly to your starting position, maintaining control throughout (see Photo 4). Do not simply let go, and do not allow your elbows to lock.
- Repeat the pull-up, placing a "kiss" on the other hand this time (see Photo 5). Repeat, alternating hands, for a total of 12 pull-ups for your first set, and 10 pull-ups for your second set. Note: If you can't do your full body weight, use a Gravitron machine and set the weight so that you can do approximately 75% of your body weight.
For a less difficult version of this exercise, use a Gravitron machine instead of the high pull-up bars. The Gravitron machine will support some of your weight, enabling you to do the pull-ups without compromising form.
About Billy Polson: Billy Polson is the founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, which was voted the best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006. A competitive swimmer and triathlete in his own right, Polson has over 15 years of experience working as a coach and trainer, and was recently named by Men's Journal Magazine (December 2005) as one of the Top 100 Trainers in America.