Developing a strong, powerful back, requires the use of compound movements while utilizing specific movement patterns.Continue reading
Pull-ups have always been a great exercise to do and you only need your bodyweight and a bar to do them. For those who can’t do a pull up yet, you may be looking to get your first one. For those who can, you’re probably looking to increase the number that you can do. So whether you can do one or 100, this is an easy to follow guide on how to do more pull-ups.
For this article we’ve made a workout to help you in your training. Check it out here.
Want to know how to do more pull-ups? Here are 5 tips
1. Dead Hang
Most people tend to skip this bit and go straight to the pull-ups, but being able to hang from the bar is an important step in increasing the number of pull-ups you can do. It is also fundamental to improving your grip strength. Without great grip strength, you can lose your grip fast, which will mean that you will do fewer pull-ups than intended.
Try to work on your dead hang by hanging from the bar with an overhand grip.
Hang for as long as you can. Then increase the time gradually. It’ll help you be able to hang from the bar for as long as you need to do crank out those pull-ups.
If you want to mix up the dead hang a bit, then add weights. You can wear a weighted vest or even just hold a dumbbell between your feet as you hang. There is also the option of one-armed hangs or even hang by your fingers. Yes, there are some people who can even do two-fingered hangs!
This will condition your grip strength and really get you used to hanging from a bar, so you can learn how to do more pull-ups.
2. Scapular Pull-Ups
Before you even try to do a full pull up, practice your scapular pull-ups first. This helps to activates the lats, which is what you need for this movement.
To do this from the bar. Depress your shoulder (sort of like a reverse shrug—your shoulders move downwards instead of upwards), without moving your arms. This will slightly raise your body. Return to your original position and repeat.
Doing scapular pull-ups will make your back stronger, while also increasing your awareness of the body movements needed for the pull-up.
3. Negative Pull-Ups
Negative pull-ups are a great way of increasing your pull up capacity. This exercise focuses on the part of the pull up where you lower yourself back down.
To do negative pull-ups, jump up from the ground, with your hands holding the bar above you, until you reach the top position of a pull-up. Then slowly lower yourself back down as slowly as possible. Try to do it for a count of 3 or 4 seconds, making sure this movement is controlled. Then repeat.
4. Assisted Pull-Ups
There is nothing wrong with using some gym accessories for help. Use resistance bands to help you get more pull-ups with some assisted pull-ups.
Wrap the band around the bar so it falls down in a loop. Place one foot in the loop while holding the bar above you. The resistance band should give you a springy floor to stand on. Then pull yourself up and lower yourself back down as if you were doing a pull-up.
The great thing about resistance bands is that they are versatile and come in different sizes. This means you can easily adjust the difficulty of assisted pull-ups by the size of the band you use. The thicker the band, the more supported you will be. You can also use two bands at the same time for extra guidance.
This is a great way to increase your muscular endurance. And if you are unable to do unassisted pull ups for more reps, just add a band to keep going.
If you have a pull-up machine at the gym, then you can use this too. While some machines differ, it will most likely give you a platform that you can stand/kneel on and adjust the weight depending on your preference.
5. Change Your Grip
There is the standard pull-up position that people use, but you can always change where and how your grip is. For example, you can make your hands narrower, wider, or even at an angle to help build up different muscles in your back and arms. This will assist in increasing your strength.
Some pull-ups machines will also have different grip handles so you can use them too.
Workout with Jefit
Jefit is a workout log app that can help track your progress. Whether it is to do more pull ups, or lift heavier weights, Jefit can record it all. If you need additional help, then why not join the Jefit community? Jefit offers a members-only Facebook page where you can learn from others as well as share your own wins, advice, and stories. Come and join the community now!
Did this article help you learn how to do more pull-ups? How many pull-ups can you do, and what’s your goal? Let us know!
There are various forms of the deadlift exercise that one can do to help build overall strength and power. The stiff leg deadlift (SLD) and Romanian deadlift (RDL), are two such examples. Both exercises can be done using either a barbell, dumbbell or kettlebells. This article will look at the barbell version of each. The two movements look pretty much similar if you were to see them performed side-by-side. Both exercises stress the hamstring group more than a traditional deadlift exercise. There are, however, key differences.
Differences Between Deadlifts (RDL & SDL)
The SDL and RDL are often considered the same exercise, but you need to understand some of the nuances between them. The main difference between both exercises is the amount of flexion that occurs in the knees. For example, in the SDL, the knees start fully extended before unlocking slightly as part of the forward hinge. In the case of the RDL, the knees remain bent while executing the movement. When you perform an RDL, your hips are pushed back to the rear, providing greater hip joint rotation. When your hips flex more, the glutes end up working more.
Both exercises work basically the same muscles (glutes, hamstrings and back). However, the SLD, using a more neutral spine ends up getting more lower back activation. A few areas where some people may run into trouble are with exericise technique and if they lack strength and mobility. Let’s take a look at each type of deadlift and discuss each of them.
With the RDL, the knees are bent more, as mentioned above, compared to a SLD. This in turn, provides greater hip activation and flexion. Keep in mind, many experts believe that locking the knees out completely can increase the chance of injury when performing any type of deadlift.
In terms of technique, position the feet shoulder-width apart while holding the bar with an overhand grip (aka a clean grip). Next, set your back tightly in a complete arch. We’re talking about lumbar extension here. This is real important. I would first suggest to practice the movement near a wall. Stand about a foot away from the wall as a starting position using only bodyweight. Perform a (partial) RDL movement until the glutes come in contact with the wall. Work on maintaining that slight lumbar extension I mentioned above. Then move a few more inches away from the wall and repeat. Continue to move forward, going deeper into the exercise, each time, until you find your end limit. When you feel comfortable with the technique, try the same thing with a broom stick or dowel. Eventually progress to an Olympic bar with no weight, followed by a loaded bar.
To perform an RDL properly means lowering the weight to a comfortable position just below the knee, that ends up fully engaging the hamstring. Keep the knees “relaxed” and slightly bent (about 20-30 degrees). Move the hips back to execute the movement before driving the hips forward and standing back up with the weight.
The goal is to hinge at the hips as far as you can without losing the arch in your back. Strength and mobility dictates the range of motion someone ends up typically using. Unlock the knees as you hinge, allowing the knees to remain slightly bent until you return to standing vertically, straightening them as you straighten the hips. Keep the bar as close to the legs as possible throughout the motion. The RDL is a great exercise for developing strength through the posterior chain.
Stiff Leg Deadlift
The SLD is similar to a regular deadlift but differs because you keep your legs “almost” straight throughout the workout. The SLD is considered more of a low back exercise and is typically done last in most leg routines.
In terms of SLD technique, start by standing with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Take hold of the bar with an overhand grip, positioning the hands about shoulder width apart. As you stand up, retract your shoulder blades, pulling the bar back into an upright posture. Next, lower the bar until you feel the stretch in your hamstrings and glutes, and then slowly straighten back up. Remember, though, as you feel this in your hamstrings, drive your heels into the ground engaging your hamstrings and glutes as you pull the bar back to the starting position. Keep the bar close to your body. Remain tight in the core with a neutral spine during each repetition.
Keep the initial weight light in both exercises until you feel the targeted muscles really starting to work. It may take some time to get it all in sync because your mind is trying to focus on others things like form and technique.
Try the Jefit App
The award-winning Jefit app, was named best app for 2021 by PC Magazine and Men’s Health. It comes equipped with a customizable workout planner, training log, the ability to track data and share workouts with friends. Take advantage of Jefit’s huge exercise database for your strength workouts. Visit our members-only Facebook group. Connect with like-minded people, share tips, and advice to help get closer to reaching your fitness goals. Try one of the new interval-based workouts and add it to your weekly training schedule. Stay strong with Jefit.