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.
This inverted variation uses speed and power on the inverted pull-up to work the back muscles and the core. You'll pull up with explosive power so that you can release the bar and then re-catch it on your way back down. Keep your core engaged and the pull up and as you drop back down to the starting position.
Set the Smith machine bar so that it is on the fourth, fifth, or sixth height setting (the bar height will be below your chest height and above your belly button), depending on your individual height relative to the Smith machine. With your feet on the floor in a wide stance in front of the Smith machine, position your upper body underneath the bar of the Smith machine, holding the bar a little wider than shoulder-width apart with your palms facing down. Hang from the bar with your arms extended fully, and allow only the heels of your feet to touch the floor. Keep your body straight and your core engaged-don't let your butt sag down (see Photo 1).
- From the starting position, lift your upper body up quickly and forcefully until your chest nearly touches the bar. At the top of the motion, use the power of your pull-up to float your body a bit as you quickly release the bar and then re-catch it as you drop back down (see Photos 2 and 3).
- Lower yourself down until you are back at the starting position. From the bottom of the motion, immediately begin your next repetition with a powerful pull back up (see Photo 4).