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15

If you cross your ankles as your doing your pull-ups it will keep your feet from moving upwards, which is the main cause of swinging. Really focus on using only your arms to do your pull-ups and try to engage your core (abs and obliques) as much as you can to keep yourself from swinging. If you're still swinging, slow down your pace, not only will this ...


14

The biggest risk of injury comes from overuse, particularly if you are getting older. Body weight exercises are very safe, and the biggest real risk of not doing them correctly is wasting time because you won't get the results you want. The key to pushups is keeping your body straight as a board. If your body is sagging in the middle, it's likely because ...


13

First of all, 20 pullups is quite a feat, good job! I assume you are doing them with proper form: chin over bar on top, elbows locked and body still at the bottom. If you are doing something else, or eg. kipping pullups (basically, using your momentum in any way), the first thing you should do is transition to strict form pullups. Doing 50 pullups is as ...


12

This is an example of a Weight-Assist Machine. The woman in the photo is using it for dips, but this particular machine also supports Chin-Ups. Some Gyms and Fitness Centers have these. The one where I work out has one, and with it, I'm able to get 10 reps instead of my normal 3.


12

Minimum height You need to be able to hang from the bar and not touch the ground with your knees. Maximum height You need to be able to pull yourself all the way up, chest touching the bar, and still have at least an inch or two of space between your head and the ceiling or anything else. Optimal height It's great to be able to just barely reach the bar ...


12

The end of February is twenty weeks away. With that much time until the competition, you should periodize your training into a general preparation, specific training, and competition lead-up. Doing just push-ups might work too, but you will achieve better results with a more balanced approach. General preparation - 6 weeks For the general preparation ...


11

I look at it as, they're competing in a sport with a completion criteria of chin-over-bar for reps/time. If the participants understand that they're taking on a certain level of risk of certain types of injuries training for this type of competition, then that's their business. People risk straining muscles kicking soccer balls too, but they accept the ...


10

The common wisdom is that the chin up (supinated grip) targets the biceps. It also appears to target the pectoralis major. The pull up targets the lower trapezius more. Source Ellington Darden also says the chin up better targets the lats because the involvement of the biceps means the arms won't give out as quickly as the pull up, allowing the back to get ...


10

Don't "Stretch" Doing static stretches before working out is not good. It cools you down and relaxes you, which is the opposite of what you want while you're exerting yourself. What's worse is that by stretching your muscles, you decrease the amount of force that your muscles can exert, and make yourself vulnerable to injuries like muscle pulls. Static ...


9

Since you can do only a single pull-up, I would suggest more reps with some sort of pull-up progression. Some examples are: jumping pull-ups pullups with your feet on the ground in front of you, leaning backwards assisted pullups (from a machine at the gym, with a rubber band, or by tying a rope to a weight that goes over the bar) Finally, you might look ...


9

It sounds like you want to start incorporating muscle-ups and weighted pull-ups whenever possible. I don't think kipping pull-ups are really appropriate for a number of reasons, but if they float your boat (and you have a healthy, strong, flexible shoulder girdle), rock 'em. Upper-Body Pulling Power Power is not a common goal for upper body pulls, though ...


9

Yes, Pull-Ups Are Awesome Even If You Can Only Do A Few You should do multiple sets of chin-ups, using negatives to get a larger total number for the workout. If you can only do three pull-ups in a set, then do three--strict ones, good ones, all the way down and all the way up--and then do another three as negatives (jumping to the top and lowering yourself ...


8

If you have nothing to pull yourself up to, the next best thing is rowing. The two most practical kinds of rows without a gym are: inverted rows which can be done under a table and dumbbell rows which you can do with various heavy objects that have a handle, like a bottle-crate (preferably the kind that has the handle in the middle). But you should ...


8

Any exercises that work your lats and biceps should be about equally as effective if you do them correctly and in sufficient quantity/sets. After about a month or so of steady training you should be able to start doing regular pull-ups without assistance, if only a few. Just keep working at it. One of my personal favorites is just getting on a chair or ...


7

Hands facing away tends to focus on your back and lats. Hands facing toward you emphasizes the biceps. As far as which to use when... that depends on what you are trying to accomplish with that workout. Obviously, the two still use a lot of the same muscle groups so take that into account if you're going to use both.


6

It doesn't really matter much - you are lifting the same weight no matter how much (or little) you shift your center of mass by moving your legs. Excessively rounding your lower back might have other consequences, though I haven't found any references to back this up. However, keeping your legs straight will activate your abs (especially upper abs in my ...


6

My suggestion is to make sure that you are doing the exercise properly. Grab a bar with a grip slightly wider than shoulder width, with your hands facing away from you. Hang all the way down. Pull yourself up until your chin is above the bar. Slight pause, before lowering yourself all the way back down. On the way up really concentrate on isolating your ...


6

When you say "hurt", do you think its a muscle soreness (a broad, burning sensation in your muscles), or joint pain (sharp, localized pain in your elbows, shoulders, or upper back)? If its muscle soreness, that's to be expected. Joint pain is something else. Its possible that you don't have a "warming up" problem, but that you're just not strong enough to ...


6

Callouses form when your skin is pinched between gravity and the bar. If you learn to grab the bar in such a way that your skin is no longer pinched, you will prevent the formation of callouses. Additionally, using chalk helps improve your grip while also preventing callouses because the bar doesn't move as easily in your hands (as opposed to when they are ...


6

I wrote a rather big post about pull-ups vs. chin-ups where I also discuss the issue of grip width. I did it based on a few scientific papers whose links you can find there. Those papers study the grip width in percentage of your shoulder width. In other words, if your shoulder-to-shoulder distance is 40 cm, then 100% grip width corresponds to a 40 cm ...


5

While there is little disagreement that weight should be added after a certain amount of reps is reached (commonly 15), actually getting there is a different matter. One approach, initially popularized by Pavel Tsatsouline (see this article for more info), is called "greasing the groove". Pavel claims that "specificity + frequent practice = success", ...


5

I agree with Tony R, but I also add two other elements of focus: On the upward motion, I focus on driving first my elbows, then my shoulders back and as I reach the top I flex - squeeze as Tony R suggests. Also, this starts when arms are fully extended and requires a pause at full contraction. On the way down, I go very slowly and shift the focus to my ...


5

I've been climbing, training for climbing, and reading books on the subject for a long time. If you are new to climbing, you need as much volume at the easiest grades possible. This is the best way to condition all of your body, as well as improve your technique. Go to the gym, do all of the easiest problems. Repeat them over and over. This will make ...


5

If I were having this problem, I'd focus on changing most or all of my pull-up and chin-up reps to "chest to bar", and accepting nothing less. This would probably mean a reduction in how many reps I could perform. If that reduced my volume too much, I'd do one (maybe two) "chin-to-bar" sets for as many reps as possible at the end of my pull-up work. I also ...


5

Your suspicion that locking out your shoulders might be detrimental to your shoulders, I would say, is a correct assumption. Our shoulders are one of the joints that, I think, are most prone to injury due to incorrect technique in a wide variety of exercise, so I would say that, you should always try to look up proper technique beforehand as well as listen ...


5

The shoulder is deemed to be a joint of the ball and socket type, as is the hip. The major difference is that in the hip, there is actually a bony socket on the pelvis (Called the acetabulum) that the head of the femur fits into. There really is no such structure in the shoulder, the "socket" in the shoulder is made up of tendon and cartilage structures. ...


4

The lats are quite involved with pull-ups. Also the biceps and a number of muscles of the upper body. I went from be able to do exactly 0 pull-ups to doing 11 in one set and ~33 throughout a 90 min training session (among other exercises) in about a year, and that includes some holiday breaks and injuries that slowed me down considerably. I got the ...


4

There are two answers to your question. Improving forearm strength is usually done through a combination of exercises. Grippers are good and generally you squeeze, hold for a second, and then slowly release. Repeat until you're too sore to continue. Do it again the next day. If your hotel rooms have door molding, you can practice finger tip hangs from ...


4

You're absolutely correct that swinging can make pull-ups easier. (It can also make it harder to hold on to the bar. Both of these are not good.) I use two methods to avoid swinging during pull-ups and chin-ups: Bend my knees at a right angle, without crossing my ankles. Extend my legs in front of myself, as high as they go. You can do it like the ...


4

Try to slow down the pace until you can do full pull-ups with good form and not swing. If you feel that you do not have the power to do the pull-ups with good form, use alternative ways of doing them until you are strong enough. Alternative pull-ups can be either with one or two legs on something a bit elevated from the ground so that you can help lifting ...



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