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Proper pull-ups technique. Expert's opinion needed!


vege
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I've been doing pull ups for the last 3 weeks and I got my sister to make a photo of me today. Don't know what to think about the shot

I'm certainly looking a little skinny (I'm working on it, I eat and eat and eat...), but I'm more worried about the form of my shoulders. Am I pulling my shoulders to much backwards? I was looking at those muscled black guys doing pull ups today with me, and their shoulders seemed in totally different position than mine on this photo. They pull their shoulders more forwards and don't have that cramp in neck.

But on the other hand, I was searching on the internet and I read that in order to do proper pull ups and prevent injury you should pull your shoulders backwards, like I do.

But on the other hand, again, those guys look GREAT and they are FUCKING STRONG, and do 15 or 20 pull ups with such ease... And I also have neck pain, more from the right side.

So, my thoughts are: what is a proper pull ups technique? And also, if those guy's "incorrect" technique brings such great physique, I am seriously considering doing my pull ups incorrectly, too!

http://a.imageshack.us/img40/5585/img0663au.jpg

 

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Honestly I haven't heard much debate about shoulder location. From what I have seen, you just want to keep a few things in mind.

 

1. Use a range of motion that is comfortable, but also gives the greatest length of motion (from a dead hang to your chin above the bar is best)

2. Don't jerk yourself up (it's called kipping) unless you are trying to practice for muscle ups.

3. Make sure the bar passes in front of your face and down to your upper chest (again, if possible go as high as you can go).

 

I think both of the pictures have great form:

 

http://exrx.net/AnimatedEx/LatissimusDorsi/BWPullUp.gif

 

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/40/Pullup.gif

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Thank you, Fallen_Horse,

I don't know, I look so cramped. This guy in the video is doing it correctly, i think. My head seems to be dropped down between shoulders too much, I hope you know what I mean. I think that's it: I should extend my neck, instead cramping it...

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  • 4 weeks later...

Here is my form, looks similar to yours except that my elbows are further forward, aligned as if a bar was running across my pecs and they were attached to it. Your arms seem to have less of an angle. From the top my arms would look more like this \_/ whereas yours look flat _-_ I was doing sets of 20 when I took this picture as I got a little obsessed with military training style for a while.

 

http://i263.photobucket.com/albums/ii129/POLARBEAR666/Fitness/P9240026.jpg

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My head seems to be dropped down between shoulders too much, I hope you know what I mean.

I think you are right with this. You need to pull your shoulders down, not back. You could do this before you even start to bend the arms, it's kind of like shrugging in reverse.

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actually, I'm quitting the "fancy" gym, which I used to go to until now. It's expensive and too far away from my home. I will use the cheaper gym near my place for basic exercises. They don't have machines, maybe one or two. Just barbells and dumbbells and free-weight training equipment. They will also have kettle-bells classes in the future, and I'm looking forward to this! Near that gym there is also a free open sport-ground with all equipment for pull ups, dips, etc. So my plan is to do compound exercises twice a week in the gym, like dead-lifts and squats, etc. The rest of the time I will follow the Armstrong pull ups program on that sport ground, until winter comes. So it will be compound basic exercises and pull ups - hard core, hehehe:)

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Sounds good... I left my fancy gym and got a powertec leverage gym which I love. It lets me do heavy compound movements and also isolations when I wan't.

 

Then I do dips , chin ups and pull ups on my other bit of equipment. Getting a more hardcore workout than when I was at gym plus I can heat my gym room and crank high voltage music.

 

Watching predator while working out also adds 5 reps.

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oh, this one I am going to use is dead silent, and I actually like it that way. Most of the gyms here are playing stupid techno music that just washes your brain out. I can't focus on exercises when listening to that music.

Very nice workout equipment you have! I was never that disciplined to do regularly exercises at home. I need to "go" somewhere to workout, it's like a habit now.

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That p90x bar looks great! I found new gym recently and they have a similar thing for pull ups. They also have another one with a thick bar and with handles that move, so you have no choice but to use your thumbs and all forarm muscles in order to control all that, while doing pull ups (i hope you understand my decription )

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I will use the cheaper gym near my place for basic exercises. They don't have machines, maybe one or two. Just barbells and dumbbells and free-weight training equipment.
Oh man I wish it was like that around here. The cheaper gyms are primarily made up of machines with few free weights.
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actually, I'm quitting the "fancy" gym, which I used to go to until now. It's expensive and too far away from my home. I will use the cheaper gym near my place for basic exercises. They don't have machines, maybe one or two. Just barbells and dumbbells and free-weight training equipment. They will also have kettle-bells classes in the future, and I'm looking forward to this! Near that gym there is also a free open sport-ground with all equipment for pull ups, dips, etc. So my plan is to do compound exercises twice a week in the gym, like dead-lifts and squats, etc. The rest of the time I will follow the Armstrong pull ups program on that sport ground, until winter comes. So it will be compound basic exercises and pull ups - hard core, hehehe:)

 

Crossfit guys are not pro-machine.. So might be a good thing if you look at it from that angle. Their slogan - Dont use a machine, be one.

 

bodyweightculture.com

gymnasticbodies.com

 

Might help

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In my experience soccer posts are too thick to use, though I guess if you have enormous hands it could work.

 

I've recently switched to doing my pull ups & chin ups using a standard diameter scaffold pole. Obviously much thicker than any purpose-made pull up bar & has a smooth surface (as opposed to knurling or the rubberised grip you often get on bars) so makes things much more challenging & hits the forearms harder. I do use liquid chalk to help with grip.

 

Makes me feel like I'm in some kind of Rocky IV-style training montage when I do this exercise (minus AOR soundtrack & sleeveless shirt though obviously)

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