Stop dodging that pullup bar. Even if you haven’t completed a single pullup in 20 years, it’s never too late to try again. And while it may take some time, these beginner pullup tips from US Marine and Youtube pullup sensation, Michael Eckert, will help get you back above the bar.
Beginner Pullup Tip #1: Grip Strength
Grip strength is crucial for being able to pull yourself up. Unfortunately, tapping away at the computer keyboard or phone screen is not going to help. To improve your grip strength, Eckert suggests three different workouts––farmers walks, pinch plate holds and dead hangs.
Beginner Pullup Tip #2: Elbow Flexion
If you want to be able to pull yourself up, you need to work on your elbow flexion. This means working on the biceps, brachialis and brachioradialis––three muscles that are dominant when it comes to the pulling motion. To work these muscles, Eckert suggests two moves––the bicep curl and the plate pull.
Beginner Pullup Tip #3: Isometric Contractions
As Eckert describes it, an isometric contraction happens when your muscle is contracted and under resistance, but not lengthening or shortening. This type of training is great for pullup strength as it develops your weaker areas and requires both bicep and forearm strength.
Beginner Pullup Tip #4: Negatives
If you’re not at the point where you can pull yourself above the bar, lowering yourself down from the bar is a great place to start. Simply step on something to help get your chin above the bar and then slowly lower yourself down to the ground. Aim for seven seconds. Strictly focusing on the eccentric contraction––the lowering down phase––still works the same muscle groups and stabilizers as a regular pullup.
Beginner Pullup Tip #5: Confidence
Getting above the bar for the first time can feel like a daunting task. But to flip the switch in your brain, you just need to cheat a little bit. A rubber resistance band can be tied onto the bar and will give you the extra boost needed to get over the bar. This move gets your body comfortable with the full pullup motion and boosts your confidence for when you’re ready to ditch the training bands.
Check out Eckert’s complete beginner pullup tips tutorial above and get to work!