Monday, 1 September 2014

How to do pull-ups (properly)

Ah the pull-up, the king of upper body exercises! Often performed incorrectly. With any exercise the smallest of tweaks can have a dramatic impact on your overall performance during the set. And remember if you can perform an exercise better (more reps, more weight etc.) it will have a greater training effect.

Legs crossed and knees bent behind you. This causes an overextension fault of the lumbar spine. From this position it makes it impossible to engage the glutes, create a neutral spine and therefor create stability in the shoulder joint. The shoulder joint will rise up towards the ears to try and create a stable environment and in turn the lats switch off (the muscle group you're probably trying to hit with this one)

Legs together, toes pointed just out in front of you. Glutes engaged and core pulled in tight. From this position the spine remains in neutral and there is greater stability within the shoulder joint. Don't be surprised if you can perform more reps from this position!

What you need to remember is with any compound exercise a small fault can cause you to dump torque and leak power, which will take away from the exercise. Think of it like this, your body is an electrical circuit. If the circuit is broken (in this example there is overextension of the lumbar spine) you'll lose power.