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Pull Up Help: The Band “Aid” Tip

We’ve hit on up the subject of pulls ups and how to improve them (<— a must-read) in a few previous posts but getting more (or even one) is always a hot topic and one of HDIGF’s most frequently asked questions. Makes sense because pull ups never really get easier– one more pull up past your max is tough no matter how many you’ve got under your belt. After all, you’re hanging from your hands using your upper back to pull up the weight equivalent of, well… you. But you knew that, right?

So here’s the deal– as a coach, any compensation I make is from product you purchase off my site. The Chin Up Max is one of those products but hey– I also value your success so if you can’t swing one of those, there’s a down and dirty “Option 1.2”– and while not as modular or streamlined as the Chin Up Max, it works in a pinch. So here’s a trick that’s infinitely better and more comfortable than the chair, cuts out on cheating and happens to be a home made kissing cousin to the awesome tool called the Chin Up Max.

The Pull Up “Band Aid”

Chances are you probably already have bands in your at-home fitness arsenal. Yes, the multi-colored pieces of rubber tubing with the handles — the ones you may (or may not!) have stuck in the corner for dust collection. Whether you’re using bands every day as part of your workouts or need to brush them off, it’s time to give them new life and bring a new angle to your pull up.

How To

Setting up is ridiculously simple, but here’s a walk through just in case (and know that I love you– I used a photo of Lady-Friend’s leg to spare you the hairy sight of my own):

  • Take your band and fling it over your pull up bar so both handles are even and hanging at the bottom. This is now your “stirrup”.
  • Balancing yourself, pull both bands down to where you can put one foot into the “stirrup”. Step into BOTH handles, pulling them (if possible) past the ball of your foot. This is IMPORTANT to keep the handle from slipping out from under your foot and slapping you in the face. This also keeps the tension “under you”.
  • Extend your leg and begin pullups as normal.

Feel that “help” on the up portion? Feel the negative on the down? If you don’t, try a different color/thickness and play with them to find what works best for you. You don’t want the band to support too much weight, but you want to feel it take a bit off when you’re in need. The trick is, don’t rely on the band– you’re still trying to use your back muscles in the pull up. Only use the band when you can get no more pull ups from a hanging position– see what you can do on your own first.

In the mean time, let me know how it works for you. For more tips, motivation and support, coaching at How Do I get Fit is free– learn more about it here

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