Even though it seems like a very simple exercise, a lot of people can't seem to master the pull-up. This type of exercise is one of the best indicators of a person's upper-body strength. This is because your back and arms have to work together using a lot of effort to lift your whole body. Because of this, being able to perform a lot of pull-ups will help improve your muscles and core.
First of all, you should know that pull-ups don't just involve your back. Even if you strengthen your back, chances are you won't be able to do a lot of pull-ups if you have a weak core.
The key to mastering pull-ups is creating tension throughout the torso, also known as core stiffness. The torso connects to the shoulder blades, and having a stable and stiff core will provide your arms with enough support.
Hollow Body Holds
Before we talk about the procedure, let's discuss the term "hollow." A good hollow position involves your abs being securely braced. To do this, take a deep breath and squeeze your core.
Then start the body hold by lying down and lifting your arms overhead with your elbows straight. Cross your ankles and your hands, then press them into each other. This creates tension as you lift your body into the proper position. This exercise will help you build tension that's similar to when you hang from the bar doing pull-ups.
Hollow Body Horizontal Pull-Ups
With this exercise, you need a broomstick or dowel. Hold it in your hands the same way you would hold the pull-up bar.
Start with the same position as you would when hanging from a pull-up bar. Then go into the hollow position as you mimic the movement of pull-ups. This exercise will improve your core strength with the addition of the arm movement.
Hollow Body Leg Raises
Doing this exercise will further strengthen your core while adding arm stimulus. To do this, lock out both of your knees and then cross one of your feet over the other. Then pull the broomstick down while lifting your knees toward it.
It's all about building your strength
If you want to master pull-ups, it would be very helpful to build your skills first and strengthen specific parts of your body. Aside from all the hollow exercises we've discussed, these can also help you out:
- Stability Ball Rollouts
- Bar Hang
- Hanging Shoulder Shrugs
- Hanging Leg Raises
- Flexed-Arm Hang
- Band-Assisted Pull-Ups
Improve your workout routine
It's important to frequently "train for the movement" of pull-ups. Mastering the pull-up involves working with all the muscles and body parts involved in it. While you train, you don't have to include pull-ups in each of your sessions.
Ideally, you would perform the different exercises regularly while only doing pull-ups at least once a week. As you continue with your routine, you'll notice yourself growing stronger. Then one day, you may discover that doing pull-ups has already become easy for you — which means that you've mastered it!