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Pull ups / chin ups
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Assburgers · 02/07/2018 19:34

I can’t do one single one. I’ve never been able to. I installed one of those bars in a doorway in our bedroom a few months ago and can only dangle limply from it & then fall off. I really thought that if I tried every day then I’d make some kind of small improvements & eventually be able to do one, but no.

What am I doing wrong?! Has anyone got any tips?

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vanillasky1001 · 02/07/2018 19:35

If it makes you feel better, I do 50 press ups a day (25 in a row x 2) and I can’t do pull ups Confused

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Redrunbluerun · 02/07/2018 19:36

How long are you dangling for?! Build that up First... try and dangle for a minute... have a little break and do it again. Also concentrate on exercises that use your own body weight. Do press ups, tricep dips, planks and stuff like that.
Once you can handle your own body weight you can do chin ups. They are bloody hard though, I got up to 10 before I had my son- I dread to think what I could do now!

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NT53NJT · 02/07/2018 19:38

You need to strengthen your forearms, biceps, back and shoulders.

Do compound excercises on these muscles and you will do one.

The dangling for X amount of time is great for building your forearms

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TheNoseyProject · 02/07/2018 19:38

So those are two different moves.

For a pull up you should be mainly using your back and shoulder muscles (not trying to do it all with your biceps). Start by dangling, then try to move your body so you’re dangling but without your shoulders bring up by your ears but rolled back into their normal position so your back is taking the weight.

A pull up is tough unless you’re fit all over. Can you do push-ups? If not you’re going to struggle to do a pull up. If you go to the gym do lots of back, chest, shoulder, bicep and tricep exercises with weights.

You’ll get there!

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TheNoseyProject · 02/07/2018 19:41

If you go to the gym this sort of machine will help you build up to a pull up. You adjust the weight on it to compensate for less and less of your weight (aka on this machine the heavier the weight the easier the exercise):

www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/machine-assisted-pull-up

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OhDrBeeching · 02/07/2018 19:42

Can you get some kind of high step? I find them easier if I start from the up position if that makes sense, rather than the hanging down and then pull up position. Well, I say easier, I can do one from this position anyway Grin

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tenbob · 02/07/2018 19:43

The best way to do pull ups is to start with assisted ones and then reduce the assistance

The best/most measurable way is using an assisted pull up rack at a gym, where you put your feet on a plate with weights and then gradually reduce the weights until you're doing it by yourself

If you don't have access to a gym/machine, you can improvise using resistance bands

Secure one end of the band to the bar and put your foot or feet in the other end

You can start off with several bands or thicker bands, and then gradually reduce down

I've always found it best to work in sets, so start off with a set of 4 and then rest, and then 4 more until you hit a total of 12
When you've removed the assistance, you can build up from sets of 4 to sets of 5, then 6 etc etc
My goal was always to be able to 12 unassisted pull ups in one go but it would take months to get there

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userofthiswebsite · 02/07/2018 19:43

They look easy don't they but they're really really not.
It takes a long time to build up sufficient upper body strength.

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userofthiswebsite · 02/07/2018 19:44

Much harder for females to achieve them than the men purely because of body makeup...

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Assburgers · 02/07/2018 19:44

Thanks everyone.

Good to know the dangling does something! FWIW I have noticed I can dangle for longer periods Blush

I can do press-ups without too much difficulty (I can’t do 50 though - wow). Ok I’ll keep trying. Thanks x

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thismeansnothing · 02/07/2018 19:46

Negative pull ups are great for building up your strength to do the full move. So with the pull up get yourself so your chins above the bar and slowly slowly lower yourself down till ur arms are strait and your at the start position as if you were to pull up. Then jump back up so chins above the bar and repeat.

Doing that with some grip strength and back and bicep exercises and you'll get there

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Assburgers · 02/07/2018 19:47

Yes userofthiswebsite they look tantalisingly easy when other people do them

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ToElleWithIt · 02/07/2018 19:48

It takes work. If you just want to use your bar I suggest doing negatives. Jump up to the “top” of the chin up (start with chins as they’re easier). Now lower yourself down taking 10 seconds. Gradually increase the lower time. When you get to 30 seconds try a chin with a little jump from the floor to start, then gradually elimate the hop.

Excellent article here aimed at women which also tackles the other important component of chins - body weight.

stumptuous.com/mistressing-the-pullup

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Assburgers · 02/07/2018 19:49

tenbob and nosey I didn’t know about those machines! They look good. I’ve actually just joined a gym & will see if they have them there. Thank you x

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Assburgers · 02/07/2018 19:56

Thanks Elle. I’m actually quite skinny so I assumed I wouldn’t have too much trouble (idiot) but that article looks really handy, thanks.

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Assburgers · 02/07/2018 19:59

ohdrbeeching I have a toddler’s toilet training step Grin I can see the logic in doing them in reverse. Thanks to you & others who have suggested this x

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WanderingWavelet · 02/07/2018 19:59

If you go to the gym this sort of machine will help you build up to a pull up. You adjust the weight on it to compensate for less and less of your weight (aka on this machine the heavier the weight the easier the exercise)

I luuurve the assisted pull up machine. When I started training really properly in January (with a personal trainer & all) I weighed around 81kg, and needed about a 60kg assist. I now weigh 74kg and can do 1 assisted pull up with only 25kg assist, and sets of 3 with 30kg assist.

My trainer says when I can do one with only 10kg assist, I can try a full pull up on the training cage sort of thingy in the middle of the gym floor (it has a squat rack, several TRX thingies, and all sorts of other thingies that big muscly men use to train with their body weight).

I do assisted pull ups on this cage thingy, but with two long elastics to help - the purple and the green. I', aiming to get down to just needing one long elastic to help. Like this:

Band assisted pull ups

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Assburgers · 02/07/2018 20:02

wandering a training cage sounds a bit scary! Like something out of Mad Max. I might get some of those band things though.

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WanderingWavelet · 02/07/2018 20:03

Good to know the dangling does something

If you want to be fancy, I suppose it's sort-of what's called a "negative rep". I love those - I'm quite good at them.

Do an assisted pull up using bands, and then once your chin is up to the bar, hold yourself there as long as you can, and then let yourself down verrrrrry verrry slowly - as slowly as you can.

You can do this in a push up as well - full body push up, then go back down as slowly as you can. I always end up face-planting after about 4 of those.

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WanderingWavelet · 02/07/2018 20:08

oops, I see others have suggested the negative reps. To get used to it though, I'd suggest negative push ups. You don't need any equipment.

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MsMartini · 03/07/2018 00:15

I have spent months and can now do 1.5 chin-ups Smile. The .5 is really important! I do the lats machine and rows as often as I can and am very gradually adding more weight, negatives, push ups, dips, still a long way off a pull up I think. I think it is case of keeping going, a bit ever day. I can lift quite heavy weights, do reasonable push ups etc. This is much, much harder.

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Alanamackree · 03/07/2018 00:30

Squeeze your bum muscles. It’s a full body exercise and the power comes from your core. Don’t think about it as just upper body/arm strength.

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erinaceus · 03/07/2018 07:57

Similar to MsMartini, it took me a year to do one chin-up. I started from what I used to call the twitching like a dead fish stage. I got one chin-up first, then one pull-up a few months later, and then two chin-ups but I never got much further than that.

I used resistance bands - these ones and trained chin-ups three times per week as part of a general strength training routine.

I never liked the machine much, I preferred the bands.

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nellly · 03/07/2018 08:01

Definitely recommend the bands!! I couldn't do one at all, I wasn't even close and started on the thickets band and worked my way down to nothing!! Now I can do sets of 5 with my hands facing forwards or backward MD's (so chin ups and pull ups) it took a while but the good thing is you only need to practise a little bit most days and you'll get stronger. They were cheap too, the whole band selection was about £10 on eBay

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Johnnycomelately1 · 03/07/2018 08:57

This may be personal but in particular for pronated pull ups I found scapular shrugs, scapular pull ups and barbell rows really helped a lot. Also, when performing the rep think about raising your chest to the bar rather than your chin over it- stops you scrunching up and helps you engage your back (also prevents that "I did too much bench" look where your shoulders get pulled forward by your pecs). It's harder to get the full range of movement with chest up but it's more functional IMO.

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