Practicing pull ups can be a great way to increase upper body strength. Unfortunately, this move can be very difficult for beginners to do. Even if you haven't practiced pull ups before, with persistence, you can definitely do this move well and increase the number.
Method 1 of 3: Improving Practice Techniques
Step 1. Warm up 5-10 minutes before exercising
Heating is useful for improving blood circulation and preventing injury. Therefore, do cardiovascular exercises, such as walking or jogging. Also, stretch your muscles while moving, such as rotating your arms or swinging your arms a few times.
Step 2. Keep your shoulders in position and arch your back back
People who still have difficulty doing pull ups will usually bend over while practicing. In fact, this method will actually increase the pressure on the neck and back muscles, making the exercise more difficult. To prevent this, try to pull your shoulders back and arch your back.
Step 3. Use your back muscles when doing pull ups, not just your arm muscles
Many people think of pull ups as a test of arm strength. However, back muscle strength is just as important, if not more important. To make the exercise easier and more effective, use the back muscles and the muscles around the armpits to lift the body.
You should also activate the latissimus dorsi ("lats") and back deltoids ("delts") muscles
Step 4. Cross your legs as you practice
When doing pull ups, you need to cross your legs at the ankles. While this may sound unimportant, it can help reduce stress on your arms and maintain proper posture while practicing.
When crossing your legs, you can bend your knees or not. Choose the way you like as this doesn't affect the movement
Step 5. Practice pull ups using an assistive device
This method allows you to do the basic pull ups and will feel easier because you use an assistive device. Practice while maintaining proper posture because this movement is almost the same as a real pull up. For that, do the following steps:
- Use the machine to practice pull ups.
- Loop the resistance rope around the horizontal bar of the pull-up machine and under your knees to support your weight.
- Stand on the footrest with 1 foot.
- Have a friend hold your feet or the soles of your feet as you practice.
Method 2 of 3: Increasing Exercise Intensity
Step 1. Do pull ups with a variety of movements
Although only up and down, the basic movements of pull ups vary so that they can be done alternately as desired. Each movement uses a different muscle. You may be able to perform certain moves better than others, for example:
- Standard movement: hold a horizontal bar with your palms facing forward shoulder-width apart. Then, slowly raise your body while bringing your chest closer to the post.
- Neutral movement: hold 2 parallel horizontal posts 30-60 cm apart with palms facing each other. Then, lift your body until your chest is at the same level as the bar.
- Chin up movement: hold the horizontal bar with both palms pointing to the chest with a distance of shoulder width apart. Then, engage your biceps to bring your chin closer to the bar.
Step 2. Do negative pull ups
This move is actually only the second half of a full pull-up. Start the exercise by holding the horizontal bar with your chest close to the bar and making sure your chin is higher than the horizontal bar. Then, lower your body slowly. This movement is lighter than a full pull-up, so it can be used as a warm-up to prepare before training.
When practicing negative pull ups, move from top to bottom
Step 3. Add 1 pull up at the end of the training session
Before practicing, remember how many pull ups you did the last time you practiced and then add at least 1 time. Although this goal is difficult to achieve when you are tired and drained of energy, try your best until you are unable to hang on the pole.
- In addition to training goals for each session, set long-term goals to increase motivation.
- The success of training is not measured by the ability to do full pull ups! If it's still difficult, do half or quarter pull ups.
Step 4. Practice 2-3 times a week
Doing pull ups will be easier if the posture or technique is correct, but persistent practice is the best way to reach your target. The more you practice, the stronger your body will become and the more movements you will be able to do. In order to train in a balanced and focused manner, do pull ups 3-4 times 2-3 times/week.
Practice every 2 days to rest your arm and leg muscles. When not practicing pull ups, take the time to work your core and lower body muscles
Method 3 of 3: Increase Body Strength and Energy
Step 1. Perform back and arm strengthening exercises
The pull-up movement uses many of the upper body muscles. By working the muscles one by one, your main exercise routine will feel much lighter. Before practicing pull ups, do the following movements:
- Lat pull downs: Sit on a pull down machine holding a horizontal bar with your palms shoulder-width apart. Then, pull the bar down until it's in front of your collarbones while still pulling your shoulders back and arching your back slightly. This exercise is useful for strengthening the upper back and latissimus muscles.
- Bicep curl: Hold dumbbells, 1 dumbbell with 1 hand, then activate your biceps to lift and lower the dumbbells.
- Seated row: Sit on a rowing machine to train weights then pull the lever close to the waist in a slow, regular motion. This exercise is useful for strengthening the back and latissimus muscles.
- Prone reverse fly: Lie facedown on a bench to train with weights holding dumbbells, 1 dumbbell in 1 hand. Then, lift the dumbbells while stretching your arms out to the sides at shoulder height and then slowly lower them. This exercise is useful for strengthening the deltoid muscles.
Step 2. Eat a nutritious, fat-free diet
To strengthen and enlarge the muscles needed when doing pull ups, eat a balanced diet consisting of lean protein, nutritious carbohydrates, and healthy fats. This dietary change may not be pleasant, but you can still eat a menu that is delicious, nutritious, and beneficial for building muscle, for example:
- Protein from chicken breast, lean beef and pork, lentils, legumes, milk, eggs, and fish.
- Nutritious carbohydrates can be obtained from whole grain breads and pastas, whole grains, quinoa, barley, and bulgur.
- Foods that contain healthy fats: nuts, avocado, olive oil, tofu, and foods from soybeans.
Step 3. Do aerobic exercise and eat less if you are overweight
Pull ups are a way of practicing lifting weights using body weight. So, the exercise will be more difficult if the body is getting heavier. Even if you are very strong, pull ups are very difficult to do if most of your body weight is fat. This can be overcome by keeping track of your calorie intake so that you eat less and setting aside time for aerobic exercise, such as running, dancing, and swimming.
Step 4. Get into the habit of getting a good night's sleep every day
Lack of sleep will make it difficult for the body to increase the strength needed to do more pull ups. You need to rest before and after high-intensity workouts. So, make it a habit to sleep 7-9 hours every day.