I wrote a a bit about grip training and it's importance the other day. That post recieved quite a number of hits, so today, I thought I'd write a bit more about it - only, we won't be talking "directly" about grip training, rather, we'll be talking about how to get better at doing pull-ups. How does this relate to grip training? Well, you'll see - and I'm not referring to the usual "get a strong grip and you'll automatically get better at pull-ups" (though that is a very valid point as well).
But no. Today, we'll talk about an often ignored "link" while doing pull-ups - a hidden "key", if you would, that if applied correctly, will literally help you rocket past personal bests in pull-ups and other pulling movements in no time at all.
And this link that I'm referring to is nothing other than the "strength connection" between your hands, and your brain. This may sound strange to you at first, but hear me out first - the next time you do pull-ups, or lift a heavy weight, or do any pulling movement - focus on your HANDS, and your GRIP - and you'll find the exercise automatically becomes a bit, if not quite a bit, easier. REALLY focus on the bar your holding, or the feel of the weight in your hands - and see what a difference that makes.
I'll bet it's massive - and while I'm not sure how to explain it to you in scientific terms, I know that this is a FACT. Your fingers and hands are one of the areas of your body most jampacked with nerve endings and neurons "talking" to the brain, and when you focus on your hands - the brain automatically forces your muscles (and your body) to focus that much more on the lifting exercise - and boom - it becomes that much "easier".
And for those of you that believe in traditional Chinese massage and acupressure points - you'll know what I'm saying when I'm talking about tons of nerve endings in the hands reporting back to the brain. Sure, they exist in the feet as well - but we don't use our feet to lift too many objects. . .
Ok, so are you still with me? Still trying to figure out what all this hocus pocus about the hand-brain connection and Chinese acupressure has got to do with anything? Well, my friend, it does - and that brings me to today's tip - when doing pull-ups, or ANY pulling exercise - REALLY, REALLY focus on the grip. And the way to do that is to squeeze the living heck out of the bar your using - literally.
I do my pull-ups on a thick iron bar out in the park, so it's physically impossible for me to "squeeze" this sucker - yet, I try my best every time I do any pulling exercise on it. I really SQUEEZE the bar - until my fingers start screaming, and I STAY that way during the entire set. And guess what - this ONE simple detail has allowed me to make more progress in my pull-ups than anything else has.
This is one of those things that is easy to ignore - it's easy to simply hold on to the bar without really squeezing it - so make sure you keep this in mind while doing your pulling exercises. And if at all possible, do them on the thickest bars you can find - in addition to building fingers of rebar and a Tarzan like grip, you'll also build solid mental strength. Not easy to hang on to a thick bar and squeeze it for all your worth at the end of a tough workout - believe me on that one!
So thats today's tip - SQUEEZE the bar, and watch yourself progress faster that you ever have on your pulling movements!
PS: I cover this, and many other valuable tips that you do NOT want to miss in Fast and Furious Fitness - grab a copy NOW.