10 Pull-Up Workouts For Triathletes

When discussing upper-body exercise regimens, pull-ups reign supreme.

Apart from the convenience of not needing a great deal of apparatus such as cables, what makes barbell rows an ideal exercise is that they are a fundamental compound movement that offers development for both your back and biceps.

You may have heard people discussing the significance of squats in hitting the major muscle groups in the legs, such as your quads, glutes and hamstrings. Pull-ups can be seen as an exercise for your upper body.

Doing pull-ups is a great way to increase your grip power and also create balance in your body, so you won’t be stressing only your back when performing exercises like the bench and overhead press.

Pull-ups can be tough to master, though. Beginning with different kinds of pull-up movements will assist you in mastering the skill of doing a pull-up successfully.

What Do Pull-Ups Work

Before attempting the bar, be sure to be aware of which muscles you are focusing on, recognizing the strain they should cause, as well as the muscles once should activate.

A pull-up is a compound exercise which engages a much broader range of muscles in the upper body as opposed to an isolation exercise.

Do the traditional pull-up with a grip that has your palms looking away from you and keep your hands around shoulder-length apart. Performing a pull-up properly will involve using the muscles in your upper back, shoulders, lats and biceps.

Modify Your Way to the Perfect Pull-Up

If you reach out to grip the bar and pull, but find you only got a few inches off the ground, don’t worry. You may not have attained a strict pull-up as of yet, however, by making a few changes to your routine, you will soon achieve magnificence in building up your back muscles.

Beginning with changes will assist in becoming accustomed to the motion and knowing which muscles are being used. They’ll also assist you in honing your technique so that when you execute your first repetition, you can do it with a complete range of motion.

Pull-Up Variations

If you have not yet achieved proficiency in pull-ups, begin with these pull-up modifications.

1. Jumping Pull-Ups

Leaping pull-ups are an excellent way to begin mastering the correct technique. Why? When you lower a weight, you typically have more strength than when you are lifting it.

This implies that although you may experience difficulty during the contraction part of the exercise, you typically have more management of the descent part. Hopping and dropping your body will assist in perfecting the exercise.

Using a slower, more controlled movement while performing pull-ups can help you develop strength at a quicker pace.

How to do a jumping pull-up:

  1. Stand under a bar and jump to the top position of a pull-up. Your chin should be over the bar. If needed, use a platform or box.
  2. Hold at the top position for a count of two and focus on squeezing your shoulder blades together.
  3. Lower slowly, letting your feet touch the ground.
  4. Staying light and fast on the balls of your feet, jump up again. Repeat for reps.

2. Negative Pull-Ups

Increase the challenge by adding a longer pause in the lowering phase of a jumping pull-up. Due to the force of gravity, this part of the exercise is not as strenuous and helps to develop the muscles necessary to complete a pull-up.

Complete your negative in a slow-and-controlled manner. On each repetition, make sure to use your upper body muscle groups, so that they are under tension.

How to do a negative pull-up:

  1. Jump up or use a box to pull yourself up on the pull-up bar.
  2. Slowly lower yourself down. Keep your core tight and engage your back as you descend.
  3. Lower to full extension in a controlled manner without just letting yourself fall.
  4. Repeat for reps, trying to build on the time eccentric phase. Try to work your way up to a 30-second, progressive release.

3. Partner-Assisted Pull-Ups

If you have a workout buddy, partner-assisted pull-ups should be your exercise of choice. A spotter can provide you with sufficient support to enable you to lift yourself up and enough opposition to push against you while still making sure that you acquire strength by doing the majority of the job yourself.

How to do a partner-assisted pull-up:

  1. Standing on a box or jumping up, grab the bar with a wide, overhand grip. Bend your knees. Have your friend cradle your feet.
  2. Pushing off of your partner’s hands, pull your body up until your chin is just above the bar.
  3. Lower your body until your arms and shoulders are fully extended.
  4. Repeat for reps, increasing or decreasing the added support as needed.

Working out solo? Though not as effective of an adjustment for most people as it does not give extra support at the bottom of the motion where people need to get stronger, band-assisted pull-ups let beginners imitate the motion and can eventually finish more repetitions.

Be sure you are reducing your reliance on the band gradually and switching to one with less flexibility. Try to use a lower resistance band each week to put more effort into the workout.

4. Scapular Pull-Ups

Doing scapular pull-ups can assist you in mastering the beginning stages of a pull-up. Making sure to use your lats effectively by pushing your shoulder blades down and backwards is necessary for performing a proper pull-up.

Learning this fundamental initial action will show you how to stay solid at the beginning of your draw, laying the groundwork for accomplishment.

How to do a scapular pull-up:

  1. Jump up and grab onto the bar. Hold yourself in a hollow hang position.
  2. Draw your shoulder blades down and back. Imagine using them to squeeze an apple placed on your spine.
  3. Return to the starting position. Repeat.

This exercise may not cause many repetitions of movement but it is still beneficial as it helps to activate your shoulder blades and helps you learn how to begin a pull-up.

5. Isometrics

It is worth mentioning that keeping a weight stationary has its merits. Exercises conducted with the joint remaining still and unchanged are great for increasing one’s strength.

Studies done since the 1970s demonstrate that isometric training contributes to the activation of more muscle cells promotes greater efficacy while bearing loads, and increases the oxidation level in bones and muscles.

If you’ve just begun doing pull-ups, it is beneficial to pause at the point of the pull-up in which you are the weakest. This will allow your body to build strength in that area.

How to do isometrics:

  1. Grip the bar with a pronated grip. Pull yourself up until your chest is level with the bar (using a box, partner or platform).
  2. Keeping your chest out and elbows pulled back, squeeze your shoulder blades together.
  3. Hold still for as long as possible. Release and repeat.

Another Pull-Up Set

6. Inverted Rows with Suspension Straps

This is a great starter exercise that targets the upper back area, particularly the latissimus dorsi.

Hang the loop suspension straps on a sturdy branch, bar, or any other secure item that is at a high level. Start off in an upright position, grasping the handles in each hand and extending your arms forward. Step forward until the exercise is physically demanding.

The more steps you take, the harder the manoeuvre will be. Lift your body upwards into an upside-down plank position, moving your arms back and forth like you are doing a row, flexing your arms and bringing your elbows back.

Your shoulder blades will begin far apart from each other on top of your ribs, then slowly move closer to your spine as you reach the highest point of the exercise. Concentrate on using your lats, abdominal muscles, and rear shoulders, rather than relying on the upper trapezius muscles or the movement of your elbows.

Slowly backwards to the beginning position while lowering yourself. Ensure that your arms are kept straight when you start the exercise and that your technique remains sound throughout each repetition. When you feel confident and strong with this action, move on to the next exercise.

Do one to three sets of five to eight repetitions, pausing for a few seconds at each end range. Rest for one to three minutes between sets. Perform this exercise two to three times per week.

7. Hip Hinge Pull-Ups with Suspension Straps 

This exercise allows you to replicate the full range of motion of a pull-up but with the added support of your feet on the ground.

Putting your arms into a wide T-shape, will activate the latissimus and triceps muscles and involve your shoulders. Make sure to engage your core and lift your waist with the lift of the movement while squeezing your elbow against your torso.

Start by setting the handles of the strap to be just above your waist when standing. Begin by sitting down, with your legs extended in a straight line. Grip the handles of an inverted row in a position with your arms held straight.

If you require help, you can maintain your hips on the ground. Sit up with your hips hinged, move your elbows out and draw them back towards the sides of your body. Your abdominals and lower back muscles should be engaged to assist you in assuming this 90-degree hip-fold posture.

At the highest point of the pose, your lats should be engaged to raise your hips up from the floor, just like you are attempting to do a pull-up and bring your chin up over the bar. Pause for a brief moment, then gradually return to the starting posture of the inverted row.

Keep your feet and legs in the same spot while performing the move. You may need to adjust your positioning to discover the ideal starting and finishing spots for your straps being secured.

Do 1-3 sets of 5-8 reps, and hold for a few seconds at the beginning and end of each rep. Rest for one to three minutes between sets. Perform this exercise two to three times per week.

8. Box Assisted Pull-Ups 

By making this adjustment, you can access the muscle activation that is needed to do a pull-up without having to use too much weight. Utilize the knowledge you acquired from the first and second tasks, and call upon your strength for this one.

Put a sturdy container underneath a pub, and allow your legs to be relaxed and weighted on the box while gripping the bar. Do not push with your feet. Try hanging here at the starting position. Engage your lats and shoulder muscles to push your shoulders downward, away from your head.

Picture trying to hold a grapefruit between your armpits. This will pull your shoulder blades down to your waist and make your torso move closer to the bar.

Keep tugging until you manage to get your chin up over the bar. Congrats! You just did a reduced body-weight pull-up. Lower slowly back to the starting position.

Do 1-3 sets with 3-8 reps, while pausing briefly at the beginning and end of each repetition. Rfor est one to three minutes between sets. Perform this exercise two to three times per week.

9. Band Assisted Pull-ups

This is another option for a person to experience the exertion of a full pull-up but with a reduced body weight, by employing a huge resistance band.

Hitch a large resistance band to a bar. Grab the loop and put one foot into it as you ready your starting posture. Remain in place while positioning your hands on the bar. Try hanging here at the starting position.

Engage your lats, shoulder muscles, and core to pull your shoulders down from your head. Then draw your shoulder blades together and lift your torso up until you can just get your chin above the bar.

Pick the power of the resistance band you need depending on what you’re doing (like 10 pounds, 25 pounds, and so on); you could possibly necessitate a good bit of aid from the band to get started in some instances. Reduce the strength of the band over time.

Perform sets of three to eight reps, holding each position within the range of motion for a few seconds. Do one to three total sets. Rest one to three minutes between sets. Perform this exercise two to three times per week.

10. Eccentric Pull-ups

It is less strenuous to gradually descend while doing a pull-up than it is to gradually climb into one. Using eccentric force helps us produce more power due to a protein called titin in our muscles that offers inner resistance to stretch. Be sure to warm up before attempting this move.

Place a box underneath a bar that is tall enough for you to reach and pull yourself up from the top without having to raise yourself. Begin in the beginning stance, then rise your feet away from the box.

You should remain in this position for a brief amount of time, then gradually decrease until your arms are almost extended. Jump onto the box or put your feet on the ground. That’s one repetition. Rest, then restart at the top.

Volume: Two to five sets of one repetition. Rfor est one to three minutes between sets. Perform this exercise one to two times per week. As you become more powerful, you can do multiple repetitions consecutively, doing one to three sets of three to five repetitions as your durability increases.


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