Workout Wednesday – Pull-Ups

by DavalosMcCormack on September 23, 2009

As a kid I really used to hate pull-ups. Well, it’s not too surprising. I was really skinny and had stick-like arms that had no strength, so I couldn’t do more than a couple of pull-ups at a time. Even today I struggle to do more than ten at a time. And I’m in reasonably good shape. But I know that each pull-up I can do is doing me a lot of good.

Think about it, a pull-up exercises your arms, shoulders, back, core muscles all at the same time.

It’s pretty easy to do. You simply grab the bar with your palms facing away from you, then you slowly pullĀ  yourself up until your chin is over the bar. Then you slowly – and slowly is the key here – lower yourself all the way down until you are hanging with your arms straight. Then you repeat and do as many repetitions as possible.

So what do you do if you find you can only do 3, or 4, or 5. That’s ok, they still count. But if you reach a point where you can no longer pull yourself up, that is when you turn to the “negatives”. Negative is when you are controlling a weight on the way down. The positive is when you lift it, the negative is when you are returning it to the starting position. You are using the same muscles as you did to lift it, just in reverse.

The negative of a pull-up is when you are lowering your body back down. So, if you can’t pull yourself up anymore, here’s what you do. You jump up to a point where your chin is level with the bar, then slowly control the descent, thereby exercising the negative. You are still working those same muscles, just in a different way.

It’s like that old song. Accentuate the positive. But in this case once you have exhausted the positive you accentuate the negative.

It’s not easy. Definitely not easy. Hard. Really hard. Bloody hard. But the more you do, the more you are able to do. And believe me, you’ll really notice the results and see the benefits.

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