Pull off the per­fect pull-up

Women's Health (UK) - - CONTENTS -

Press-ups? You’ve got them nailed. Sit-ups? Bossed. But pull-ups? Yeah, not so much. It’s just so dis­heart­en­ing when you see men, with their an­noy­ing nat­u­ral up­per-body strength, vir­tu­ally pinky-lift­ing them­selves at the bars next to you, right? But guess what: the key to a good pull-up isn’t just strength, it’s also tech­nique – so there goes that ex­cuse. Soz. And, ac­cord­ing to Do­minique Mann, an aer­o­bics gym­nas­tic cham­pion, per­fect­ing your tech­nique is well worth the ef­fort. ‘Pull-ups tone your up­per body and strengthen your core, which is im­por­tant for your pos­ture and cre­at­ing a flat tummy,’ she says. Get­ting it right will tar­get other mus­cles, too. ‘You’re us­ing your fore­arms, bi­ceps, tri­ceps, lats, front of shoul­ders and core,’ says Dar­ren Avondo, a strength and fit­ness coach. Can’t even lift your­self an inch? It’s worth per­sist­ing, say the ex­perts. But be­ware: strain­ing too hard could spell trou­ble for your mus­cles. To min­imise in­jury, take it slowly, get your form right and use a spot­ter. To start, scale your move­ments by us­ing a power band for as­sis­tance. Loop it over the bar, thread it through the loop, stretch it down and step into it. Start with a wider band for more re­sis­tance and go nar­rower as you get stronger.


You have lower-back or shoul­der pain.

Grip the bar, hands shoul­der-width apart, with your palms fac­ing back and your gaze level and for­ward En­gage your core and glutes With your back straight, pull your­self up un­til your shoul­ders are level with your hands and the bar Keep your legs to­gether and straight, or bend them 90° for ad­di­tional back sup­port Lower to your start­ing po­si­tion in a slow and con­trolled move­ment, then re­peat

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