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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 04-13-2007, 05:23 AM   #1
Ryan Luney
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Hi everone,

Im pretty new to Crossfit only been at it 3 weeks or so and really love it.

Can anyone tell my what I should be doing to make Pullups easier? I really struggle with this exercise and never really get up to my chest ....mostly Im doing chin ups I guess. I have been working out off and on for the past 5 years but Pullups or chinups have never really been a big part of my workout.

Any tips?

Thanks
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Old 04-13-2007, 05:58 AM   #2
Kevin Burns
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do more pullups

seriously though. took me a year to triple my numbers. keep at it
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Old 04-13-2007, 06:29 AM   #3
Dennis Barrett
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Ryan, You didn't say how many reps you were doing that didn't go all the way to the top,1 to 2, or 7 to 8. If it is a question of form, I got some sage advice on this board that helped me. When doing a pullup, don,t think of it as curling yourself up, but of forcing your elbows down and touching them behind your back. It might be helpful to do a static hold at the top position and lower yourself out of it.
To do more pullups ...do more pullups! Do a search for GTG or "grease the groove"
In my case, my pullup count also went up as my bodyweight dropped.
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Old 04-13-2007, 06:36 AM   #4
Ron Fielder
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I agree. Just keep doing them. The first time I had to do 100 PUs in a WOD it took me a hour and I was wiped out.
Now I can get 100 PUs in about 12 min in bigger and bigger sets. My goal is to be between 4 and 5 min per 100.
I am only in my 6th month doing CF.
The day you have to do 30 MUs for time, and sub 120 PUs/dips you will have plenty of practice.
Otherwise, just keep doing them, maybe 30 a day or greasing the groove.
Also if you have excess bodyweight, losing a little with help. When i started I was 198lbs, now I am 175lbs and it is so much nicer working with this weight.
Hope it helps a little.
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Old 04-13-2007, 09:28 AM   #5
Michael Tong
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I agree with all the comments. Keep doing them, or keep doing progression exercises. A few weeks into CF, I learned about GTG. That really helped me. FWIW, I did GTG 7 days a week for a little over a month. I did either 10 PUs 10x a day, or go to failure 3 - 4x a day. After that first GTG month, I had a good enough base number for PUs not to get discouraged. Now, I still do GTG but just not everyday now - maybe 5 days/wk to adjust for PU-intensive WOD.

I'm closing in on 30 dead-hang PUs, but want 40 by EOY. At 30, will start to work on MUs. It's all about progression towards harder goals. PUs are great and are severely overlooked by gym-rat types. Just keep doing progressions and you will get there.
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Old 04-13-2007, 10:08 AM   #6
Ryan Luney
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Thanks for the tips guys I will stick with it for sure .....Dennis im lucky if I can get 8 reps off at once ..im 5"11 195 (lost 5 pounds in the last 3 weeks) At first I thought it was my weight but then I saw a video of someone doing them with a 100 pound dumbbell between their legs and realized that was just an excuse :-)
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Old 04-13-2007, 07:34 PM   #7
Dennis Barrett
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Ryan, First of all, eight deadhang pullups after 3 weeks is nothing to sneeze at. I think that your not getting the bar up to your chest is not a matter of strength but of form. There is an old body building axiom about "keep your mind in the muscle". I think your mind may be in your bicep when you are doing pullups. Once your bicep closes your lower arm against your upper arm, you can't go any higher. You have to draw your elbows down and pinch them and your shoulder blades back to get your chest to the bar.
As I said before, get your muscles used to the new finishing position by lowering your bar or stepping up on a chair to get the bar to your chest. Hold this position for a few seconds, concentrating on your elbows, shoulder blades and lats. Then slowly lower yourself out of it. Do a few sets of this when you do pullups until your pullups end in this high position.

Secondly, it's funny that you mentioned seeing someone doing pullups with a 100lb dumbbell. Your initial post asked if anyone could help you make pullups easier! You have now seen for yourself that folks in the Crossfit community don't believe in making things easier!!

Good luck in your endeavors,
Dennis B.
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Old 04-14-2007, 05:09 AM   #8
Leah Turner
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I watched some videos, but to be clear, how wide should my arms be apart and how high should I be raising my body? If I have my arms pretty much directly above my shoulders in width what is that doing?

Also am I correct that chinups are the "easier" form of pullups? W/ chinups is the width of arms the same distance?
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Old 04-14-2007, 11:41 AM   #9
Dennis Barrett
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Leah, The pullup should end with the bar to the chest. Stand up and hold an imaginary bar as you described..arms straight up over the shoulders. Bring the "bar" down in front of you. Your hands will be balled up right in front of your shoulders. There is not room on the bar to bring it to your chest.

Now, allowing your hands to spread as you do this, pinch your shoulder blades back, bring your chest up, and bring you elbows down and imagine trying to touch them together. Your hands probably spread about a fist width each. This is a good finishing position. Now extend your arms straight back up overhead. That the hand spread you should start with.
The grip should be the same for chinups or pullups.
Go to the main page and click on Crossfit Journal. On the right side of the page near the very bottom of the blue column is an excellent article on the Pullup. I don't know if you have to be a subsciber to open it, but if so, that ain't so bad! Lot's of good information.

Good Luck, Dennis B.


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Old 04-14-2007, 12:22 PM   #10
Leah Turner
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thanks! the article opened btw!
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