There are many ways to get stronger on pull ups and chins ups but one of the simplest way is to focus on the eccentric portion of the exercise, otherwise known as the negative.
The lowering portion of the rep will play a big role in building muscle and strength, however it will also make you sore. So if your arm pits hurt when you brush your hair the next day you know what caused it :).
To work on negatives a simple way to do this is to work up to a 30 second negative.
Start at the top of the rep and lower to a full extension at the bottom of the pull up. This would be your starting position when you are ready enough to start on your own. Arms extended straight and feet off the floor.
If you can, start with a 5 second negative.
When you can do 5 sets of 5 second negatives try to work up to a 10 second negative.
Week 1 : 5 sets of 5 second negatives done 3 times in a week.
Week 2 : 3 sets of 10 second negatives 3 times in a week
Week 3 : 5 sets of 5 10 second negatives 3 times in a week
Week 4 : 3 sets of 15 second negatives
Week 5 : 5 sets of 15 second negatives
Keep following this plan until you can work up to a 30 second negative.
For the most part if you can do a 30 second negative you should be on track to being able to do a pull up or chin up. Not always, but it’s a good indicator of strength.
It’s important to learn body control doing a pull up as the core is a big weak area for a lot of women.
Another area of weakness is grip strength. This is why I always work hard on grip strength with women.
And please don’t use gloves. Straps have their place at times on pull ups, but nothing will replace a strong grip and strong hands. This is important for strength.
Give the pull up negatives a try and let me know how you find them.
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Rob King is a Competitive PowerLifter, Coach and Writer.