Do you want to do more Pull-Ups?
The secret is simple: Do more Pull-Ups. Put simply, there’s no better way to train the Pull-Up than to do the actual movement. Too often, I see people spending far too much time doing Lat Pulldowns, Curls and Forearm Extensions to help their Pull-Ups without making much progress. In reality, they just need to spend more time on the bar.
With that said, performing countless traditional Pull-Ups can become tedious. And if you don’t vary your routine, your results may ultimately stagnate.
If you find yourself in this situation, I recommend the following two exercises. They train the Pull-Up through abbreviated ranges of motion, increasing strength in the weakest parts of the move. Perform each move once per week for best results.
Half Pull-Ups train the movement pattern of the Pull-Up by working both the top half and the lower half. By holding at the halfway point, you also gain isometric strength. Bonus: you also gain strength in the portion of the Pull-Up commonly needed for obstacle races, such as the multi-rig.
I tend to do these on lighter Pull-Up days or after maxing out. They are tough! Do approximately a third of your max. For example, if your max is six Pull-ups, do five sets of two Half Pull-Up with over two minutes of active recovery, such as running or Push-Ups.
Similar to Half Pull-Ups, Pause Pull-Ups train your muscle recruitment and motor patterns, working both the top half and lower half. By holding at the halfway point, you also gain isometric strength.
Again, these are tough! Do approximately half of your max and don’t do a lot of volume. A good set is 5×2 with 2-3 minutes of rest or active recovery.
Another bonus: Pause Pull-Ups can reveal your weak spot, and then you can work it. For example, if you have the most difficulty at 45 degrees, try Pause Pull-Ups or isometric holds at the 45-degree point.
Try adding these two into your routine and improve your Pull-Ups!