Archive | April, 2014

Pull Up Bar and Body Weight

15 Apr

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I am still working to get back my pull-ups.  Pre-pregnancy and pre-child, I had worked hard to be able to do a perfect, unassisted pull-up.  I got there and I was able to do six pull-ups (close grip and wide grip).  Six may not sound like many, but it was for me.  I was never before able to do even do one! When I got pregnant, I continued to do pull-ups through my first trimester.  Then after that, I did not attempt a pull-up again until my child was 3 months old. He is now 1.5 years old and I am able to do 5 close grip pull-ups (on a good day).  I have been working to get them back by doing lat pull-downs, assisted pull-ups, and what I call, ‘jump pull-ups’.  In this video you see a combination of assisted and jump pull-ups along with body weight/calisthenic exercises in between.

If pull-ups is something you want to master, begin by doing lat pull-downs of different hand positions.  Increase the resistance/weight on your pull-downs and master your form.  Be sure to keep your shoulders down and neck relaxed.  The main muscle at work should be the lats (latissimus dorsi).  If you find you are tensing up your shoulders, reduce the resistance.  Next try doing assisted pull-ups either on a machine or using a resistance band (specifically designed for pull-up assistance).  You can also do assisted pull-ups by using a low bar or standing on a step so that you use your legs to help push you up.  Do them slowly and be sure that you are getting the full range of motion from bottom to top.  Once you develop grip strength and confidence in the movement, you may be ready for jump pull-ups.  I recommend seeking assistance from a fitness professional when attempting jump pull-ups.