Adam Lerner of A4 Fitness in Los Angeles shows 8 interesting types of pull-ups to work various muscle groups and create the ultimate pull-up challenge! Great for any crossfit routine or normal strength training exercise regimen. Try these 8 pull-ups to increase your agility and strength.
Eight Types of Pull-ups for the Ultimate Challenge
Whether you want to be an athlete, build muscular strength, or if you are training at the gym for the MMA, you have to have a good pull-up regimen. Old fashioned pull-ups are an excellent start, but what if you want to diversify your crossfit workout? Take a look at these eight types of pull-ups and try to incorporate all of them into your workout.
1) The Standard Pull-up
Practiced throughout the ages using only a crossbar and your own physical weight, the classic pull-up is one of the best ways to build upper body strength without weights. The execution is simple. Keeping your arms shoulder-width apart, hang suspended from the bar by your hands. As opposed to a chin-up, where your palms face your body, make sure that your palms are facing away from you. Then, using only your arm strength, carefully lift your head up over the bar, chin and all. Do not swing your legs to gain momentum – you want to make sure that your upper body is doing all of the work.
2) Reverse Grip
Also known as a chin-up, a reverse grip pull-up relies on your bicep strength rather than your triceps. The execution is the same as a standard pullup, except that you should curl your hands underneath the bar with your palms facing toward you. You may find that you are able to do more pull-ups using the reverse grip than the standard method: be sure to increase your reps accordingly.
3) Switch Grip
A switch grip pull-up is a hybrid of standard and reverse grip pull-up styles. Simply place one hand over the bar, and the other underneath as you hang suspended (i.e., with one palm facing forward and the other facing toward you). After you complete a set of switch grip pull-ups, perform another set with your hands in the opposite positions.
You will need a sizable curling weight for this pull-up: we recommend a 35-pound dumbbell. Before jumping up to the crossbar, turn the curling weight on its side. Position your shoes on either side of the dumbbell’s grip, keeping your balance with your toes. Then leap for the bar and perform a set of standard pull-ups. The weight will create additional resistance, so be sure to decrease the number of reps if necessary.
This form of pull-up requires continuous movement, so once you begin try to get a flow going. To begin, you will want to press your chest forward and swing your legs as you perform a standard pull-up. As you rise to the bar, allow your momentum to bring your face toward the bar – but do not pull your chin over the bar! As you descend, maintain your momentum by pressing your chest forward again while swinging your legs. Repeat the motion again and again in a fluid, circular motion.
Kipping is similar to the Butterfly, but less fluid. Press your chest forward and swing your legs, as before. As your rise to the bar, pull your chin over the top. Immediately push back once you reach the top, allowing your weight to draw you back down. Press your chest forward again, swinging your legs, as many times as it feels comfortable to do.
7) Rock Climber
In order to perform the rock climber pull-up, you will want to space your hands further apart on the bar. Then as you pull yourself up, lean toward one of your hands and lift your chin above that hand. Then lower yourself, and attempt to pull your chin over the other hand. Keep alternating which hand your pull your chin over in your reps.
8) Ladder Pull-up
The ladder pull-up is the most difficult – and therefore the best – pull-up technique. Start in the same way you would do a rock climber pull-up with a wider space between your hands on the bar. With the first inch (or so) that you lift yourself up, pull your body all the way to one side. With the next inch or so, pull yourself to the other side. And so on and so forth. You will essentially move in a zig-zag motion as your ascend. When you descend, continue to move in a zig-zag motion.
With your interest in crossfit training, you will find that these techniques will help to boost the diversity in your workout. Practice all eight of them to gain the greatest benefit for your muscular growth and definition.
Adam & Amanda
We have spent most of our adult lives training and guiding hundreds of people toward better health & fitness. We have created this A4 Blog in order to better educate our friends & members. We will answer any of your health / fitness / nutrition questions as well as keeping you posted on what's new at A4.