Pull-Up May – Our Final Pull-Up Progression
Written by Nuno Costa
You are now at the final stage of learning to do pull-ups – and yes, we know that the regionals excitement extended Pull-Up May into June, but it’ll be worth it when you are stringing your pull-ups together!
Some of you might still be having issues stringing pull-ups together; maybe you string one or two together, but keep dropping straight down from the bar. You may have trouble doing multiple pull-ups in a workout and end up doing jumping pull ups instead.
In order to string together multiple pull ups, one needs to be able to push away from the bar once their chin is over the bar. I know that it can be tough just to get your chin over the bar, and now we are asking you to do something else! You might be asking, “how the heck am I supposed to do that?” Your mind and body need to make the connection so that they understands the effort and muscles necessary to continuously push away from the bar.
Pushing away from the bar allows you to get in a good position for the kipping swing. This can be taught from the top of the pull-up. You may be asking, “how do I do this if I can’t do a pull-up?” Good question.
This is a partner drill; you’ll need someone to assist you to the top of the pull-up. Once you are at the top, practice the slight push away so that you drop into the beginning stage of the kip to swing forward and begin your kipping swing. This pushing motion is similar to the initial extension of the bench press – imagine you are pushing a bar away from your body. That is the idea you want to have as you push your body away from the pull-up bar.
This is a solo drill you can do on your own by attaching a resistant appropriate band to the pull-up bar. Place your foot in the band and hang from the bar. The resistance from the band will help assist you in your kip to the bar. Once your chin is over the bar, push yourself away from the bar right back into that kip.
The most common mistake I see is when clients get one kipping pull-up but are not able to connect more than one because they have a straight vertical drop down and then have to re-start the kipping swing, wasting both time and energy. You have to make the connection of the push away to get into a good starting position for the kip. Once you do that, then make sure you aren’t pulling early with the arms; you want to go back to the full kipping swing and the forward position with open shoulders.
Practicing these drills will help with the push away in the pull-up. This is going to help you string together multiple pull-ups and before you know it, you will be doing 21-15-9 of pull ups in a workout!
Happy kipping – get after it!