Thursday, 28 July 2022 03:11

Why on EARTH do people lift their legs up while doing pull-ups?

This morning, I viewed a brief video of a lady (a friend of a lady I once trained in China) doing monkey bar work - which is great.

Monkey bars are another hidden secret (and often ignored by MOST - and again, the more fat you have around the midsection, the less able you'll be able to do your version of the "Da Xing Xing" workout) ... (YES, big guys can do 'em just fine, just like with pull-ups, phat guys CANNOT do them well though) (and if you're scared of calluses stay away from these) to superlative grip and upper back - and upper body in general strength.

Swing yourself like an ape across the branches - or bars - much like Tarzan did, with or without Jane, and you'll see why. You'll FEEL WHY! Hehe.

Anyway, this lady is doing them pretty well - with ONE huge glaring flaw - this flaw I see often when people are doing pull-ups as well, usually towards the end of "a high rep workout" - - even if these guys and gals are doing the exercise in proper form "otherwise".

So what am I talking about here?

Well, the LEGS.

Lots of people have this idea that pull-ups are only supposed to be done legs "crossed at the ankles".

This idea is RIGHT when you start, perhaps even long into your journey of pull-up mastery, which will never happen to be frank (it hasn't for yours truly either, much like Bruce Lee himself would be the first to admit that even though he could do 50 thumb only fingertip pushups, there's still a long way to go. Always a long road if you know what you're doing - always fun - always interesting - always new things to learn, if you're not of that mindset, you ain't a doer. Whole chapter dedicated to this (mastery) in the greatest bodyweight exercise book ever - nothing even comes close- 0 Excuses Fitness by Rahul Mookerjee).

Anyway, doing them that way is FINE - but in the ADVANCED book on pull-ups "Pull-ups -from STUD to Super STUD within WEEKS!" - and Battletank Shoulders - I tell you to keep the legs straight and dangling when you do pull-up workouts.

Not "flopping around", but straight from the waist, and you do pull-ups that way.

Some have said this works their hips and lower back even more.

Some have said their "glutenous maximus" gets more work this way.

They're all right.

The KEY mistake though I see people make?

Is dragging the legs "up" - much like you would during a "knees to chest" movement (which is a killer core workout, dont get me wrong) ... while doing pull-ups.

This is WRONG, my friend.

It makes the pull-up easier, yes, but it is NOT proper form.

When you do them this way, you deprive your lower back of a lot of the indirect work the tendons and muscles there get from doing pull-ups right.

Look, the thighs should be perpendicular to the floor always.

I dont care if you cross your legs at the ankles or if you keep the lower legs straight, but what I see all too often with folks is thighs coming up "parallel to the floor" while doing this exercise.

A huge no no, and one you really need to work upon.

And no, kipping aint acceptable either if you're working out RIGHT. Maybe if you're "looking to get over the bar by any means possible" - and maybe in the military there are traning regimens structured around pure survival which is perfectly fine (and required) - but if you're doing pull-ups, bottom line - do em right.

We had this discussion (my friend from the Marines and me) - and even he conceded my way of doing pull-ups was the "right way".

So, to all those who claim there is "no right way" of doing an exercise (because doing it the right way is tough, because phat phocks look for any excuse not to do a pull-up RIGHT) - well, you're spot on dead wrong.

I realize a lot wont agree, and thats fine.

But this message is for the doers, real doers...

And back to "lovely lady doing monkey bar work" (I really should put that as a click baity sort of headline.. hehe)  (but really, this gal has it spot on, she was doing diamond pushups much better than many MEN do!) ...

... she was doing the exercise fine, except for the mistake above - and the CARDINAL sin I always see committed when people do pull-ups or grip work, something I've spoken about a LOT.

See if you can spot the mistake - and what I'm talking about. If you can, you're definitely part of the "0 Excuses Faithful". Write back if you can, I'll do up a special discount for you for your next purchase!

Back soon!


Rahul Mookerjee

PS - I really need to start moving (again) on some of the other books I've got planned. Squat 101 being one of them - but I'll get to it soon. So much to do, so little TIME...

In the meantime, check out this review (one amongst) many that my book "Pushup Central" got ...

Since you’re in the mood for asking,  I’m asking when you’re going to put out a book on static holds like what you talk about in your recent pushups book.  The pushups book is awesome!  Why?  Because the F…ing exercises and workouts are hard as HELL!  That’s why!  I hate workout books that don’t challenge you.  I think I also asked you once before to put out a plyometric calisthenics book as well.  DO IT!  Your stuff is the best.  You are the real deal, which is why I don’t mind paying the higher than normal prices for your books.  I’m also glad that you now put them on Kindle because I have no more room for paper books in my small apartment .


Keep up the good work

(Charles Mitchell – after the initial testimonial beneath)

Got your new push up book off Amazon.  Very impressed!  Was a little hesitant due to the price, but once I got it I was not disappointed!  Just like all the other books I’ve bought from you in the past It’s great!  If I’m ever able to master the fingertip versions of all these push ups I will have hands like sledge hammers and fingers like steel!  Keep up the good work, and start working on a book of training unilaterally, one arm, one leg, etc.  I look forward to this in the future.  Using various progressions, you will truly build incredibly powerful indestructible human beings.

Charles Mitchell, USA

Amen, my brother. Amen!