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Need HELP!!! Pull Ups
Need HELP!!! Pull Ups
11/29/12 5:00 AM
I've been doing the P-90X program for about two cycles now, and no matter what I do I can NOT get my pull up numbers to increase beyond 2-5 reps. I have to bring the chair in every time and normally after the first two exercises i can't even think of doing any without it.

What am I doing wrong? Why can't I get my numbers to increase?

All other exercises for back, or chest, or whatever have increased as expected but NOT the pull ups?

Help!!!
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RE: Need HELP!!! Pull Ups
11/29/12 5:35 AM as a reply to JBicker.
Usually it's a technique issue. You can try the following tips, which should boost your back strength:

- Instead of wrapping your fingers over the bar and your thumbs under, wrap both your fingers and thumbs over the bar. This grip disengages your forearms, and forces you to use your rhomboids and scapular muscle groups in the movement.

- Try to focus on starting the movement (from a dead hang) by squeezing your shoulder blades together and downward (almost like you're trying to tuck your shoulder blades into the back pockets of your pants). Make sure you're using your back muscles to move your body upwards, not your arms.

- Instead of using only the chair method, try performing negative reps when you hit failure. Use the chair to get yourself up, but then focus on lowering your body as slowly as possible, keeping your shoulder blades squeezed together and engaged.

Try the above for a few weeks, and you should see your pull-up numbers start to increase.

Hope that helps.
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RE: Need HELP!!! Pull Ups
11/29/12 7:47 AM as a reply to JBicker.
I struggle from a dead hang to get up to a certain point, and then I can engage my back correctly.

I like the using the negative as Bandit suggested.

Also, they have bands you can use to help get the form down right with out a chair. I like the chair and it is helpful, but a band offers a modification on the movement.

Keep at it! You will get these!!!
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RE: Need HELP!!! Pull Ups
11/29/12 8:57 AM as a reply to DealDiehl.
I have bands, and i used them when i first started, but found that even if I was stretched all the way back, the bands would not work my back the way real pullups did. So I stopped using them, to force myself to use my actual body weight.

I will try to use more negative reps and focus on pulling my shoulder blades back and see where I get from there.
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RE: Need HELP!!! Pull Ups
11/29/12 9:00 AM as a reply to JBicker.
I think when the above poster mentioned bands, she was referring to the pull-up assist. It provides tension on one of your legs to reduce the amount of force you need to use to get over the bar. It hangs from your pull-up bar. I haven't used one myself but they do look handy from what I've seen in P90X2
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RE: Need HELP!!! Pull Ups
11/29/12 9:52 AM as a reply to JBicker.
loadtoad462:
I've been doing the P-90X program for about two cycles now, and no matter what I do I can NOT get my pull up numbers to increase beyond 2-5 reps. I have to bring the chair in every time and normally after the first two exercises i can't even think of doing any without it.


So is that 2-5 reps without the chair or with?

When I first started I could only manage around 5 without a chair and only in the beginning of the respective workout. What I did was add the chair and continue to a maximum 10 reps each time a pull up exercise came around. Eventually my numbers went up but it was a slow progress. The above posters are right, it takes improved technique combined with relative bodyweight strength. I hope that helps. Good luck.

Regards,

Steve
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RE: Need HELP!!! Pull Ups
Answer Answer (Unmark)
11/29/12 12:19 PM as a reply to JBicker.
All the above advice is right on. There's one more thing that hasn't been said. Unlike every other exercise out there, a pull up requires you to have the strength to lift your ENTIRE body weight with your arms. You aren't doing that with push ups (where you are lifting about 70% of your weight with your hands/arms. So if you are even a bit overweight, it makes doing pullups really hard. That's why the assist is such a great device. But, perhaps, the issue is one of just needing to lose a bit more weight? My weight generally varies between 165 and 175 and there's a notable difference in the number of pullups I can do if I ever go over that.
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RE: Need HELP!!! Pull Ups
11/30/12 4:57 AM as a reply to CoachSteveStC.
All of the Above information has been extremely helpful, I did the Legs & Back workout this morning and concentrated more on my form ( Pinching my shoulder blades), as well as doing more Negative reps, and played more with using the chair when I needed it.

To answer a few comments. The 2-5 reps is Without chair.

With the Chair I can do 15 pretty regular.

I also know that doing straight pullups/chinups, etc pulls full weight on the arms and grip strength. Being that I am still working to break down below the 200 lb mark, I know this is going to be harder because of the extra weight.

HOWEVER, when I was down in the 160-170 range I did not have the strength to do pullups either. My chin up numbers were higher but my pull up numbers have never been more than 8 concecutive ever. My ultimate goal is to do 25 dead hang pull ups. But I'm shooting for right now to bring my numbers back up to the 8-10 range PRE chair use.

As for the "bands" the ones that attach to the bar for assistance, i've used them once. and Honestly didn't like it. They made the pullups easier, but having to pull yourself up to the bar and somehow work your leg into the band was kinda weird, and once it was in it rubbed and was a bit ackward.

Either way I know this is going to be a hugh uphill fight to increase these numbers but i'll try, and thanks for all the good info!
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