Chan­nel your pulling power

Men's Fitness - - Updates -

Turn up the vol­ume

Fit­ness coaches dis­agree over many things, but in ev­ery top trainer’s plan you’ll find pull-ups and/or chin-ups. To get bet­ter at this classic test of up­per-body strength – and build a leaner, V-shaped torso in the process – do more of them. Sub­jects who did pull-ups for ten min­utes twice a week for six weeks, do­ing 60 sec­onds of ac­tiv­ity with 30 sec­onds of rest, in­creased their pull-up max from fewer than ten to al­most 15, ac­cord­ing to the Moun­tain Tac­ti­cal In­sti­tute.

Do full-range reps

“You won’t get stronger un­less you move through a full range of mo­tion,” says coach Tom Crudg­ing­ton. “Grip the bar with arms straight and push away from it to lengthen the lats and re­cruit more fi­bres. En­gage your glutes to fire up the cen­tral ner­vous sys­tem. Lift your chest, then pull up in a sin­gle, fluid mo­tion. Keep your el­bows tight and glutes tensed, and don’t flex your hips for­wards. Clear the bar with your whole head, then re­verse the move­ment back to the start.”

Get a grip on drop sets

Drop sets are a great way to work a mus­cle to com­plete fa­tigue, but how can you use this highly-ef­fec­tive set-ex­tend­ing strat­egy with body­weight moves? Sim­ple: just change your hand po­si­tion to make the move slightly eas­ier. “Pull-up drop sets are great for build­ing mus­cle size and strength faster,” says PT and model Shaun Stafford. “Do your last set of pull-ups to fail­ure, then switch to a ham­mer grip and go to fail­ure. Fin­ish with a chin-up grip to fail­ure.”

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