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Can’t do a pull up? 3 tips for beginners

Updated: Apr 18


Can't do a pull up? 3 tips for beginners
Pull Ups

Pull ups are one of the best compound exercises and a great way to build muscle and strength in your back and biceps. Unfortunately beginners struggle with them and if you are one of them, don’t worry, this post looks at 3 tips you can do at the gym to help you do atleast one pull up.


1) Strengthen your abs!


" Your abs are one of the main muscles that are activated during a pull up but so overlooked."

Your abs are one of the main muscles that are activated during a pull up but so overlooked. Any abs exercise will not cut it though because during a pull up, your abs are used to stabilise your long vertical body in an isometric phase (maintained tension) so you will have to do exercises that imitates that, for example, a plank, try to aim for 2-3 sets of atleast 60 seconds hold, if you can’t, start small then add 10 seconds to it every week. (Remember to engage your core and keep a neutral back throughout)



2) Do back exercises that imitates a pull up


Best way to do a pull up is to train your body like it is. Some of the closest exercises to an actual pull up is a kneeling down lat pulldown. It’s slightly different to a seated lat pulldown. We kneel because it activates the abs more than a seated lat pulldown does which should be one of our main focuses (Increase weight every 1-2 weeks). Another exercise is the dead hang (with correct form), simply hold as long as you can, try to aim for 2-3 sets of 40 seconds hold with 60-90 seconds rest between sets, if not, start small then progress every week. The two exercises should be done atleast 2 times a week.



3) Focus on eccentric pull ups


Eccentric (negative) phase is the lowering phase of a pull up and in general, we are stronger on the eccentric phase than the lifting phase (concentric/positive) of a pull up. All you do is use a stable box/equipment to lift yourself up to the finish point of a pull up, step off the stable box/equipment and lower yourself slowly in a controlled manner (3-4 seconds) until you are down then repeat process as many as you can for 2-3 sets with 60-90 seconds rest for atleast twice a week. (Progress every week)


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