Pull-Ups should be a staple for any well-designed training program, offering insane strength and size benefits. But if you can't do them, or can't do them right, you won't get very far.
Here are some approaches to help you get better at Pull-Ups (or nail your first unassisted Pull-Up).
1. Train Grip Strength
Problem: If you can't hold yourself on the bar for more than a few seconds, you certainly won't be doing a Pull Up any time soon. Believe it or not, this is most people's weakness. Ask yourself this question: Do I have the grip strength to do my goal number of Pull Ups?
Solution: Increase the amount of time you can hold in a dead hang position.
RELATED: Perfect Pull-Up Technique
2. Build Up Your Lats
Problem: Weak upper back muscles.
Ever notice how people who are great at Pull-Ups also have huge back muscles? It should come as no surprise that the biggest muscle in the upper back also is one of the primary movers during Pull-Ups. If you want to take your Pull-Up game to the next level, you're going to have to get those puppies stronger.
Solution: This is one of my favorites—the Half Kneeling Pull Down. It's a simple, new-school version of an old-school exercise. Not to mention, if you look at what the shoulder and arm are doing, you'll notice that it is literally a single-arm Pull Up. #Bringonthegainz
3. Learn to "Hollow Out"
Problem: Strength training is more difficult than it should be.
Get ready to have your mind blown: Pull-Ups aren't just for your back and arms. Take into account that creating full-body tension makes most strength training exercises easier, and Pull-Ups are no exception. Learning how to get into a "hollow" position is the perfect way to do this.
Solution. The Ab-Wheel Rollout is one of the best exercises for getting better at Pull-Ups. It teaches you to get into a hollow position and does a fantastic job building the lats.
Think about the shoulder joint during a proper Ab Wheel Rollout: your arms extend overhead and you pull straight down. Now think about the shoulder joint in a neutral grip Pull-Up. Notice that the arms also extend overhead and pull straight down.
Try These Exercises
1A) Pull-Ups — x 5,3,2,5,3,2
1B) Ab Wheel Rollouts — x 5,5,5,5,5,5
Finish the workout with some Half-Kneeling Pulldowns and Dead Hangs. Enjoy!
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock