Pull-ups are a fantastic exercise to build strength throughout the entire upper body. This one exercise, as I've said many times before, is worth it's weight in gold, but is sadly ignored by the majority of people these days - believe it or not, 90+% of folks today cannot do a single pull-up in good form. And out of those that DO them - you'll find that the enthusiasm for sticking to the exercise quickly tapers off as they learn how hard the exercise is, and consequently struggle to progress. Not good.
And today, I'm going to share with you one tip that will help you improve your pull-up performance, or get past a "sticking point" (if you are at one) on this exercise. This tip works for all levels; it will help you if you cannot do a single pull-ups, and it will help you do more if you can currently bang off 10 in a row.
And this tip is NOT what most people would think about doing - in fact, most folks will likely not believe me when I mention it. It is NOT doing more pull-ups. It is NOT working on the grip - though that helps as well. And it is NOT doing lat pull downs - or lifting weights - none of that.
So, what IS it then Mookerjee, you might ask? What the heck is this mysterious secret that will help me improve on pull-ups? Well, its not a secret at all - at least not to me it ain't. And it is - doing PUSHUPS.
That's right - doing pushups - all sorts of pushups - WILL help your pull-ups. There are some kinds of pushups that lend themselves better to pull-up performance than others, but rest assured that pushups in general will help you do that first pull-up - or do more if your stuck at a certain number. And the reasons behind this is that pushups, contrary to what most folks think, build ALL the muscles used in pull-ups, specifically and most importantly, the grip, forearms, shoulders, entire back, and biceps as well - yes, biceps as well.
Additonally, the pushup complements the pull-up perfectly. I wrote a post about exercises that complement one another a while back - if you missed it, go HERE. And pushups are easier to do for most people than pull-ups (remember I said easier than pull-ups, not just "easy"), so progressing on them and consequently building more strength through this exercise is easier - and all this leads to better performance on pull-ups.
Still don't believe me? Well, for those of you that are currently spending hours trying to bang out that first pull-up, do this. Do NOT do any pull-ups for the next two weeks - but concentrate on banging out 100 pushups daily in letter perfect form. Don't dwadle while doing these; make sure you bang them out as fast as you can - but - and this is IMPORTANT - maintain correct form while doing so (never compromise on form for speed). Do regular pushups, or any type of pushup you prefer - there are many different combinations of pushups you can do - see Fast and Furious Fitness for more on this.
And at the end of the those two weeks (or however long it takes you to get 100 pushups in a row), try your pull-ups again - I'll bet you'll be surprised.
This ONE tip is so valuable that I could probably devote an entire chapter to it in Fast and Furious Fitness, but I figured I'd send it out in my daily newsletter for maximal benefit to all. in fact, I'm going to add it to the articles section of the website as well - it is THAT important. Of course, if your looking for more great tips on improving your pull-ups, and general levels of fitness, then grab a copy of the book pronto.
So for those of you that find pull-ups to be tough - or even if you've been doing them a while - give this a try, and let me know how it works!