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Jay Swan 03-07-2004 06:59 PM

I'm surprised I haven't read anything about the one arm pullup here--it seems like something Crossfitters would be obsessed with!

So, what's a good progression? Who can do them?

I was fooling around today and discovered that I could do a couple of reps of staggered pullups with one hand high and the other hand doing just a one-finger support starting at chin level and going down from there (I used a loop of cord hitched around the bar to put my finger in). That one finger seems to really help a lot, though, since I couldn't even budge while hanging by one hand only.

Myron Hensel 03-07-2004 08:06 PM

one handed pullups are hard, I can't even do one! I think the record is like 26 or something.

Mark Roughton 03-07-2004 09:29 PM

Jay, I'm not sure this fits your definition of a one-handed pull-up, but try holding your pulling wrist with your free hand. It helps a lot with balance. I'm not very strong--I can only manage 8-9 regular pull-ups in a set, but I've been able to do 2-3 one-handed pulls with this method.

I'm guessing that folks like Myron who can do 20+ in a set can let go with the free hand as soon as they get a feel for the balance.

(One note of caution: I have a "power tower" pull-up/dip rack, and I cracked my knee pretty hard on one of the vertical uprights the first time I tried this. You might want to make sure your pull-up bar has plenty of legroom the first time out...)

Jay Swan 03-08-2004 06:21 AM

Mark--you're right, that doesn't fit my definition of one-arm. That's basically just a two-arm with extra grip strength required.

I'm in the 20+ category for regular pullups and as I said, I can't even come close when I totally let go with one hand.

Barry Cooper 03-08-2004 06:59 AM

I think the record was set on rings. Rather, a ring.

Roger Harrell 03-08-2004 08:18 AM

One arm pull ups are more difficult than doing two arm pull ups with twice your weight. It is an impressive goal for anyone. Working one hand light pull ups as mentioned is a good way to work towards it.

Scott Parker 03-08-2004 10:44 AM

i am SOOOOOOOOO close to doing my first one arm pull-up, and i'm not talking about that wrist holding junk!

i'm starting from a dead hang.

i used to work with a guy who was an amazing boulderer. he used to do one arm pull-ups holding on to an ice axe (no leash), and i even witnessed him numerous times do a one-arm, one finger (!) pull-up with his ring finger.


Mark Roughton 03-08-2004 11:17 AM

Scott, what's the progression? How are you getting there?

(I brought up the wrist-hold as a place to start, and, because, you know, they looked so cool when Stallone did them in Rocky II. Put it this way: If I can do them, anyone can.)

Is Jay's finger support a good approach? Do you do a lot of negatives or do them assisted? Or do you just spend a lot of time on the wall and put yourself in places where you have to do them or else?

Just curious. It'll be a long time before I'll be able to approach of luck to all of you!

Christopher Sommer 03-08-2004 12:26 PM

Here is an excellent article on one arm pullup training by Jack Arnow.

Another good source for general information is an article on Jasper Benincasa by Brad Johnson. Jasper has some truly incredible records and also happens to be the instructor of Jack Arnow.

The following link will lead you to an excerpt I posted on a man who achieved one arm pullups by his specialized training on a bacchar ladder.

Yours in Fitness,
Coach Sommer

Myron Hensel 03-09-2004 03:27 PM

I wonder how many two-arm chinups/pullups those guys in the article could do?

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