FlipFit Training Programs

Being able to pull your body up off the ground is one of the fundamental movements of a capable human body. The pull-up directly relates to a multitude of everyday activities — from climbing, martial arts, carrying heavy groceries, or carrying your baby up the stairs. Have no fear if you can’t do a pull-up yet (or can’t do as many as you’d like). I’d bet the average American can’t either.

Why is the pull-up becoming extinct?

Most people end up frustrated when training for pull-ups without building the foundations of the movement, leaving you open to injuries, especially in your shoulders. In this article, I’ll walk you through building a solid pull-up, starting with the foundations.

Stop Neglecting Your Precious Pulling Muscles

Our modern-day lifestyle doesn’t require many pulling movements, which has left most of us with broken and unbalanced shoulders. When is the last time your car broke down and you pulled your car? It’s no surprise that most people end up imbalanced when they must spend the majority of the day hunched over a desk. Even those who spend a lot of time exercising tend to focus only on pushing-dominant activities. Just look at any typical global gym. There are usually a dozen bench presses for every pull-up bar.
Don’t make the mistake of neglecting some of the largest muscles in the body. Poor posture, shoulder pain, or even an aching backs? Most can be traced to strength imbalances between pushing and pulling muscles. The best way to counteract these imbalances is to incorporate some pulling exercises into your training! Below, I’ll show you my three favorite bodyweight pulling exercises to strengthen your back, shoulders, and arms.

The chest to ring row (C2R) is a great way to lay the foundation for a strong and full range of motion pull-up. When performed correctly, the C2R row will strengthen the entire posterior chain focusing on the lats, rear deltoids, and forearms, helping to develop more advanced pulling skills in the future.

Video Breakdown

  1. Begin with the rings about hip height, laying back with the hips elevated and legs and arms straight.
  2. Begin the movement by pinching the shoulder blades together.
  3. Rotate into an under-grip position as you pull your chest to the rings. Pause for 2 seconds at the top of the movement.
  4. Lower back to the start position with a slow and controlled tempo (4-6 seconds).

The assisted 3-point pull-up allows you to focus on starting the movement properly using the assistance of your feet to develop the strength needed to perform a full range pull-up in the future.

Video Breakdown

  1. Begin with the rings at about chin height. Start in a kneeling position with the arms straight and some weight on the rings.
  2. Using as little assistance as possible, pull back with straight arms, pinching the shoulder blades together.
  3. Pause in an active hang for 3-5 seconds before pulling up to the 2nd pause. Focus on maintaining the shoulders back and down.
  4. Pause with the elbows at 90 degrees for 3-5 seconds before pulling to the 3rd pause at the peak of the pull-up.
  5. Lower back to the start position with a slow and controlled tempo (4-6 seconds).

The full 3-point pull-up uses tempo and pauses at specific positions to build strength throughout the full range of motion of the pull-up. This variation of the pull-up is even harder than a basic pull-up, but once mastered, the results are worth the time spent.

Video Breakdown

  1. Begin hanging from the rings with your feet not touching the floor.
  2. Keeping the arms straight, retract the shoulder blades together and pulling into an active hang. Pause for 3-5 seconds.
  3. With the shoulders back and down, pull up until the elbows are at a 90-degree angle. Pause for 3-5 seconds.
  4. Pull the rings to your chest while lifting the knees.
  5. Pause at the top position for 3-5 seconds before leaning back and lowering in a slow and controlled tempo (4-6 seconds).

Final note

We are committed to helping you along your movement journey and teaching you to redefine your “impossible.” We want see your progress! Feel free to contact us via email, Facebook, or Instagram at the links below with any questions you have. Finally, if you know anyone who’s struggling with their first pull-up, please share this blog article with them! If you want to learn skills like your first pull-up and laying the foundation for even more advanced gymnastics/bodyweight skills, be sure to click the link below to get your FREE Level 1 Bodyweight strength training E-book!
-Coach Eric