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Old 07-28-2011, 05:33 AM   #1
Bill Houghton
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Sub body row or band pull-up?

Will my unassisted pull-ups increase faster doing body rows in WODs with pull-ups vs. using bands? What are your thoughts? (I have one unassisted dead hang now )
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Old 07-28-2011, 05:48 AM   #2
Gary Butterfield
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Re: Sub body row or band pull-up?

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Originally Posted by Bill Houghton View Post
Will my unassisted pull-ups increase faster doing body rows in WODs with pull-ups vs. using bands? What are your thoughts? (I have one unassisted dead hang now )
I would personally stick to the resistance bands mate, the rows will condition your body in a different manner because in my oppinion it's a completely different movement. Get a range of bands and progress through them until you can do a few unnassisted
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Old 07-28-2011, 01:36 PM   #3
Yahya Kohgadai
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Re: Sub body row or band pull-up?

pull ups are in the vertical plane, body rows are in the horizontal. Some carry-over but not much.

You can also try self-spotting pull ups:
set a bar up in a squat rack to where it's about eye level (somewhere around there, hang down and spot yourself w/your feet. The progression is:
feet flat
on toes
on toe nails
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Old 07-28-2011, 03:26 PM   #4
Aushion Chatman
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Re: Sub body row or band pull-up?

Do body rows.

Take pull-ups out of your METCON workouts and make them strength work until they are no longer an issue, then add them into METCONs.

Use the bands to assist you in pull-ups as you build strength, or do negatives....

My $0.02
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Old 07-28-2011, 03:34 PM   #5
Eric Montgomery
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Re: Sub body row or band pull-up?

I would do a combination of body rows at varying body angles and negative pullups. The problem I see with banded pullups is that they offer the most assistance at the bottom of the ROM which is where people are typically the weakest, so they never develop the strength they need to pull those first 2 inches from a dead stop postion.

At my affiliate we've taken people (women in particular) from being unable to bend their arms more than a few degrees all the way to full ROM deadhang pullups in about 3 weeks' time simply by having them doing 4-5 superslow negative singles a day, 3-4 days a week, gradually adding weight when they're able to control the descent for at least 10 seconds. On the other hand I've seen people start off doing banded pullups and two years later they're still using a band (albeit a slightly smaller one) but lack the strength to do an unassisted pullup even while kipping.
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Old 07-28-2011, 03:42 PM   #6
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Re: Sub body row or band pull-up?

Yeah if you can support your body weight: negatives >>>> band work....
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Old 07-28-2011, 05:27 PM   #7
Dave Traeger
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Re: Sub body row or band pull-up?

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Originally Posted by Eric Montgomery View Post
I would do a combination of body rows at varying body angles and negative pullups. The problem I see with banded pullups is that they offer the most assistance at the bottom of the ROM which is where people are typically the weakest, so they never develop the strength they need to pull those first 2 inches from a dead stop postion.

At my affiliate we've taken people (women in particular) from being unable to bend their arms more than a few degrees all the way to full ROM deadhang pullups in about 3 weeks' time simply by having them doing 4-5 superslow negative singles a day, 3-4 days a week, gradually adding weight when they're able to control the descent for at least 10 seconds. On the other hand I've seen people start off doing banded pullups and two years later they're still using a band (albeit a slightly smaller one) but lack the strength to do an unassisted pullup even while kipping.
How do you have them do them? Use a box to get to the top position of a pullup and then lower slowly? You say 10 seconds for each? You then do weighted ones?
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Old 07-28-2011, 05:47 PM   #8
Eric Montgomery
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Re: Sub body row or band pull-up?

Yep, or just use a bar low enough that they can jump up into the chin over bar position. If someone is too weak to control their descent at all, you just put a spotter behind them to help assist them by holding up some of the weight. The 10 seconds thing is just a general rule but yeah, once they can do 4-5 reps at about 10 seconds per with a minute or so recovery in between each, you can start weighting them with a 5-10lb dumbbell. By the time they can control themselves down for 10-15 seconds with a 10lb dumbbell they should be very close to a deadhang pullup.
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Old 07-28-2011, 07:01 PM   #9
Bill Houghton
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Re: Sub body row or band pull-up?

Thank you all for your replies. Eric, you raise a great point, we have people, me included, who have been using bands for a long time with minimal progress. I will implement the negatives in my own training and introduce it to our clients. Adding weight is an awesome idea. Thank you.
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Old 07-28-2011, 09:33 PM   #10
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Re: Sub body row or band pull-up?

Another vote for getting rid of bands entirely... Eric's advice is sound - build strength through holds, negatives, and weighted negatives. As for upper body pulling in conditioning sessions, there are plenty of scaleable options - ring rows, barbell rows, man-makers, etc.
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Last edited by Stephen Flamm; 07-28-2011 at 09:38 PM..
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