Anyone have any advice about pull ups?

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    Jul 03, 2012 5:32 AM GMT
    I am embarrassed to post this but currently I can't do a single pull up. I am doing p90x (along with Insanity) right now and p90x has A LOT of pull ups.

    Any tips on how I can improve? icon_redface.gif

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    Jul 03, 2012 5:54 AM GMT
    Yeah, you can use a chair or step to help you get up onto the pull up bar, then you lower yourself as slowly and as controlled as you can. That would be the basic progression that you could do at home.

    If you have access to a gym, most will have assisted pull up machines. Make sure you're going through the full range of motion.

    Lastly, neutral grip (close grip) pull ups are going to be easier to perform because you're bringing your brachioradialis into it significantly more.
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    Jul 03, 2012 5:56 AM GMT
    Runninchlt saidYeah, you can use a chair or step to help you get up onto the pull up bar, then you lower yourself as slowly and as controlled as you can. That would be the basic progression that you could do at home.

    If you have access to a gym, most will have assisted pull up machines. Make sure you're going through the full range of motion.

    Lastly, neutral grip (close grip) pull ups are going to be easier to perform because you're bringing your brachioradialis into it significantly more.


    Thank you! I appreciate the help! icon_smile.gif
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    Jul 03, 2012 11:59 AM GMT
    If on P90X you can't do pullups, you should do bands instead.

    But... don't give up on them! Always at least try one whenever you have back. There was a point where I couldn't do pullups either, but the motion is upper body 101... a must-have for any serious person working on their fitness.
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    Jul 03, 2012 6:18 PM GMT
    Get one of these. They're like $250 or so, and you can put your knees on the seat to assist the pullups. It also had adjustable rubber bands that control the springiness of the seat so you can work your way up.

    I've got one, and it's fucking awesome.

    golds_gym_power_tower_s.jpg
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    Jul 03, 2012 6:29 PM GMT
    I remember when I couldn't do a single pull-up or a pushup either, not a ONE. It gets better when you keep at it!
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    Jul 03, 2012 6:32 PM GMT
    David4985 saidI am embarrassed to post this but currently I can't do a single pull up. I am doing p90x (along with Insanity) right now and p90x has A LOT of pull ups.

    Any tips on how I can improve? icon_redface.gif



    Don't feel bad, I still can't do one either. icon_cry.gif
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    Jul 03, 2012 8:04 PM GMT
    Guys thanks for being so awesome with the tips. I am just going to try my hardest everyday and use the tips you guys give me and eventually I should get there.

    Paul I bought one of those pull up machines when I first got p90x. You are right that they are awesome.

    I just have to keep working at it and stay positive.

    A co worker of mine who was heavier then me did the program (this is his 4th round) and his transformation was inspiring. I hope I get there with in the next year or two.
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    Jul 03, 2012 8:10 PM GMT
    Muscledriver.com and get some strength bands
  • GWriter

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    Jul 03, 2012 8:16 PM GMT
    Runninchlt saidYeah, you can use a chair or step to help you get up onto the pull up bar, then you lower yourself as slowly and as controlled as you can. That would be the basic progression that you could do at home.

    If you have access to a gym, most will have assisted pull up machines. Make sure you're going through the full range of motion.

    Lastly, neutral grip (close grip) pull ups are going to be easier to perform because you're bringing your brachioradialis into it significantly more.

    ^ Knows what he is talking about.
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    Jul 03, 2012 8:26 PM GMT
    agreed - there was a time when i couldn't do one at all. keep trying... either with an assisted pull-up machine (as pictured above), or with resistance bands, and/or a lat pull-down machine. most gyms with have them for you to use.

    its a core strength exercise and will get easier as you build more strength in your torso, back, arms and shoulders. so the guys above are right in that you should keep trying, even if its to do just one or two during your session, or to use an assisted pull-up machine (which may require some instruction to use properly).
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    Jul 04, 2012 11:11 AM GMT
    I couldn't do a pull up at all until the last three months or so. Using some kind of assistance helped me a lot, as did persistence. You will get there!
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    Jul 04, 2012 11:16 AM GMT
    paulflexes saidGet one of these. They're like $250 or so, and you can put your knees on the seat to assist the pullups. It also had adjustable rubber bands that control the springiness of the seat so you can work your way up.

    I've got one, and it's fucking awesome.

    golds_gym_power_tower_s.jpg


    You can also use pull up assist bands as an inexpensive option. Here is a link if you want more info:

    http://compare.ebay.com/like/250815642947?var=lv&ltyp=AllFixedPriceItemTypes&var=sbar

    If you don't have access to that, then use a step stool to help you get in position and do negative pull ups. Get up to the top of the position and lower yourself as slowly as possible so that you're keeping the tension on the muscles as you lower yourself SLOWLY.

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    Jul 04, 2012 11:25 AM GMT
    Ariodante saidI remember when I couldn't do a single pull-up or a pushup either, not a ONE. It gets better when you keep at it!


    ^^Best advice.

    Been working out for years but added pullups only the past 2 years. My back was the weakest area and I paid for this one day when I injured my shoulder. Luckily I found a good PT and he stressed I should work my back more to improve my posture and build muscle in the rear delts.
    When I first started doing them I was lucky to get 3 a set. Would like to do 20-25, but can only max at 15 now. On back day, I'll do 8-10 sets of 10 and then throw in a few sets here and there on other days.

    Just keep working at it and you'll improve gradually.
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    Jul 04, 2012 11:26 AM GMT
    David4985 saidI am embarrassed to post this but currently I can't do a single pull up. I am doing p90x (along with Insanity) right now and p90x has A LOT of pull ups.

    Any tips on how I can improve? icon_redface.gif



    I couldn't do any pullups at the start of p90x either. That's why they tell you to "do your best and forget the rest" all the way through.

    Watch how they use the bands and mimic that to start. Make sure that you get a set that is thick enough to give you a workout because I found that the basic set was way too light.

    About halfway through my first round, I started doing chair assisted pullups. In my second round, I was determined to only do unassisted pullups even if I only did one.

    Stick with it, and you'll be great!
  • UFJocknerd

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    Jul 04, 2012 2:05 PM GMT
    Ariodante saidI remember when I couldn't do a single pull-up or a pushup either, not a ONE. It gets better when you keep at it!


    Yup. Everyone starts somewhere. icon_smile.gif Just do one good one if that's all you can do. In two weeks, try three sets of one good one each. Two weeks later see if you can bump it up, etc. You'll build new muscle and new neuromuscular connections if you just keep at it.
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    Jul 04, 2012 2:18 PM GMT
    Work on your core. Lose body fat. It will come naturally then.
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    Jul 04, 2012 2:28 PM GMT
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    Jul 04, 2012 2:30 PM GMT
    paulflexes saidGet one of these. They're like $250 or so, and you can put your knees on the seat to assist the pullups. It also had adjustable rubber bands that control the springiness of the seat so you can work your way up.

    I've got one, and it's fucking awesome.

    golds_gym_power_tower_s.jpg

    This. That machine is great for a person who can't do pull ups. I couldn't do one pull up when I first started working out and now I could probably do about 10. If you can't buy that machine, I say start off doing chin ups (they are a little easier) and work your way into doing a pull up. If you can't do a chin up, follow sashaman's advice.
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    Jul 04, 2012 2:32 PM GMT
    I used to workout with this guy who was majored in fitness and nutrition, he could do pull ups with one hand.
    He said the trick is to always add reps and to be consistent. So let's say you can do 10, next time add 2 more, and so on till you reach your goal. You'll be doing 50 in no time if your body is semi ready. 1 pull up is a good start too.
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    Jul 04, 2012 7:33 PM GMT
    S34n05 said


    This video helped a lot. Thanks!
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    Jul 04, 2012 9:35 PM GMT
    David4985 said
    S34n05 said


    This video helped a lot. Thanks!
    It helped me too, just not in the conventional way. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Jul 05, 2012 1:03 AM GMT
    As was mentioned above, substituting bands is ok if you can't do a pull-up. If you took the Fit Test and did ok except for pullups, than that would be a way to go. However, if you were having some challenges with other parts of the Fit Test, then they recommend doing their Power 90 program first.
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    Jul 05, 2012 1:11 AM GMT
    David, I started doing pull ups about six months ago. I used the bar at the gym, and my coach had me starting with putting my foot against the wall. It helped a lot. I can now do about 7/8 without having to put my foot against the wall to help. With my foot, I can do about twice as many. Like everyone else has said--you'll get there. You just have to keep at it.

    The other thing that really helped with the upper body strength was doing 100 push ups a day. This was a requirement from my coach, too. I had to do as many as I could on my toes and could finish doing them on my knees.

    Good luck!
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    Jul 05, 2012 1:23 AM GMT
    itstuesday said...
    You need to update your screenname.