3 Training Tips to help you learn a pull up in 2016

January 12, 2016

Happy 2016 Fitness Friends! As the new year has gotten under way, you may have created some new goals for yourself, and at Portland TEAM Fitness we would like to add something to your list: LEARNING A PULL UP! Throughout the year we will be sharing training tips you can do at the studio or at home to help you get to your first pull up!

Christina welcomes you to the Year of the Pull Up Challenge!

Tip #1 Hollow Body Hold
While the pull up involves A LOT of upper body strength, if your body is not functioning as one strong unit through the power of a strong core, your pull up will be MUCH harder. Image the difference between picking up a sandbag vs. picking up a block of concrete. The solid object is easier to pick up because it is compact. The sand bag is more challenging to lift because it slides about and shifts. Your body is the same way: a strong core makes you compact and efficient where as a weak core makes you wobbly and less efficient, and a strong core while doing a pull up is key to making the pull up a reality! The hollow body hold is a great core exercise you can work at home to build core strength, AND is very applicable because you are actually holding hollow body in the air while doing your pull up if you are doing a strict pull up! Here is Christina explaining and demonstrating hollow body hold.

Tip #2 Scapular Retraction
When people get ready to begin a pull up, it is common to hang in a way that the arms become unpacked from the shoulder joint and much like the bag of sand their body is disconnected and in this hanging position all the work of the pull up goes into the arms, and actually can be quite uncomfortable on the shoulder. Scapular retraction is an incredibly important  part of the pull up because it ensures that you utilize the larger muscles of the back such as the lats instead of just the arms.  Check out ways you can work scapular retraction at home or at Portland TEAM Fitness.

Tip #3 Get a GOOD GRIP!
How many times have you gone to do a pull up, or some version of a pull up and you have felt like you were going to slip right off the bar? OR….it feels awful on your hands? The way that you hold the bar on which you are pulling is super important to assisting you in a great pull up and is the third tip in these building blocks to your pull up.