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  1. #1
    Cupcakes < Dumbbellls CourtneysSweets's Avatar
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    I can't do a pull up to save my life..

    Okay so I recently start P90X since my friend did it and she had great results.
    I've done about a week an a half now and I can finally do more than 10 pushups.
    My main problem is pull ups..
    I hate using a chair, but do use it so that I can get some reps in.

    Is there anything I can do at home to strengthen this area? (no gym membership right now)
    I have weights no bands - would love advice!
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  2. #2
    Registered User kettlebelle89's Avatar
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    I started my quest to doing pullups myself about two months ago.

    What I recommend is to start with negatives. Use the chair for now and do the pullups in a 1-0-4-0 tempo. Pull up quickly, then take about a four second count to come down. This will train and strengthen the muscles in the pullup ROM. Eventually you will be able to do a set of 2 or 3 pullups and can work from there!
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  3. #3
    PL Meet Incoming! MaliaBot's Avatar
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    If you have no gym membership, I'd say negatives. Work on lowering yourself slower and slower. When you can keep lowering yourself for 20 seconds, put a weight in a bag and put that on you somehow (or hold a dumbbell with your feet) and keep doing negatives. You will get there!!
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  4. #4
    Registered User michail71's Avatar
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    Well, as the sticky states for men posting in the women's forum says, women and men are basically the same when it comes to training. I couldn't do a pull up either back when I started. I just stuck to it and did negatives at first, then came a pull up or two. After a short while it became much easier to know out a set of them.

    It takes the whole body working together to execute a good pull up. As you gain overall strength it will happen faster than you think. Just do some negatives for now.
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  5. #5
    Registered User amccrazgrl's Avatar
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    I have been working on my gyms chin/pull up and dip assistance machine. At first I was using -95lbs and now I use -86.5 which means I'm lifting about 78lbs. I have the Iron Gym and could barley do a chin up now I can do 3/4 of one. Pull up I'm still not there for that. Some progress is better than nothing.
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  6. #6
    Always Breakin' ****! sweetkissees918's Avatar
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    Negatives are a good start. Also, i have some more tips that might help ya out. Try just hanging on the bar for however long you can. build that up. Some people just cant grip long enough. Your forearms, strenghten them up some more. Those might help ya out a little. Good luck : )
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  7. #7
    Registered User sy2502's Avatar
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    Pull-ups are hard, you are lifting your body weight there. How many other lifts do you perform with weights as heavy as yourself? Probably not many right? Just like you need to work up the strength to bench press your own body weight, you need to work up your strength to do pull-ups. It surprises me how many women new to BB get immediately discouraged because they can't do pull-ups. Why aren't you just as bummed that you can't bench your body weight?

    The lats are the muscle group most involved in a pull-up, so start working your way up to it with lat pull-downs and rows.
    I try to rep back, but I always neg back.

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  8. #8
    Posts Photos of Food dsm246's Avatar
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    I feel your pain. I've also been on a quest to be able to do dead hang pull ups. I'm still not there yet. Here's what I've been doing though:

    -- I initially started by just hanging on the bar for as long as I could. When my muscles would begin to fail I'd fight it all the way down.
    -- Once I had the strength just to support myself on the bar for a reasonable amount of time, I started doing negatives using a neutral grip.
    -- After a few weeks I could actually do a few pull ups using the neutral grip.
    -- Now I've switched to overhand grip. Started with negatives again here. Still can't do a real arms fully extended dead hang pull up, but I'm getting closer!

    I generally start each workout by just trying to do a pull up (just to see how far I can actually get). I then switch to negatives. I've also switched up my ab workouts so that I'm doing more hanging knee raises, etc. That pull-up bar and I are spending a lot of quality time together.
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  9. #9
    Registered User girlscantoo's Avatar
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    That's what I do. hanging there has helped with my grip. I want to be able to do a pullup too!! frustrating!!! I can do them with a band around me knee...
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  10. #10
    dreamer bulking stephanielynn76's Avatar
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    I was on a quest to do chin-ups too a while back. I started out using the assisted pull-up machine at the gym and just kept decreasing the counter weight. I was up to 5 dead-hang chin-ups (underhand). However now that I'm bulking and gaining... it's getting harder to do those 5 Since you are at home and not at a gym I agree with the suggestion to do the negatives. I did those too when I first started doing them on the regular bar. I'd pull up slow and let myself down even slower.

    I did the same thing with push-ups too. I started out doing the modified ones and within 6 months I could do 40-50 real push-ups without stopping. You keep doing any exercise enough you'll get there!!!
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  11. #11
    Eat. Sleep. Train. ExclusiveStarr's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by sy2502 View Post
    Pull-ups are hard, you are lifting your body weight there. How many other lifts do you perform with weights as heavy as yourself? Probably not many right? Just like you need to work up the strength to bench press your own body weight, you need to work up your strength to do pull-ups. It surprises me how many women new to BB get immediately discouraged because they can't do pull-ups. Why aren't you just as bummed that you can't bench your body weight?

    The lats are the muscle group most involved in a pull-up, so start working your way up to it with lat pull-downs and rows.
    ^This. It took me a year to be able to do a single deadhang pull up. Strength doesn't come over night, it's something that has to be built up over time.
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  12. #12
    Registered User ashgonz's Avatar
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    These helped me...

    People have already mentioned negatives, and I couldn't agree more. The more of those you do, the stronger you will become, but don't overdo it and get injured.

    Jumping pull-ups are great.

    Also, starting out with modified pull-ups is a help. I used to go for a run and I would occasionally stop at some of the "n" looking bike racks and hold onto the railing while walking my feet out and do pull ups that way, eventually getting to the point where I could walk my feet all the way out. You can also have a friend stand over you while you hold his/her hands and pull yourself up between their legs.

    Most importantly, don't give up... it took me awhile, but I eventually got there.

    Keep us posted : )
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  13. #13
    Cupcakes < Dumbbellls CourtneysSweets's Avatar
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    Thank you all for the great advice. Definitely looks like doing negatives is the way to go. :-)
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  14. #14
    Registered User nykwan's Avatar
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    Besides everything already said above, one thing I have told people is that at home, toss a towel on top of a door and do negatives there. The door is low enough that you can kinda jump and cheat to the top position, and then with your body sliding on the door for friction, it's kinda like a slight assisted negative. But make sure you keep the tension on the negative all the way down to the bottom (arms straight). Else you'll only get strong enough on the top portion of the range of motion and be one of those guys (ok...90% of guys in the gym) that do partial rep pullups.
    And as a guy, you can do the door pullup negative topless for more friction than with a shirt on...it's up to you if you want to try that as a female though.
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  15. #15
    Training For Chest Hair rdferguson's Avatar
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    http://articles.elitefts.com/article...more-pull-ups/

    Do the stuff in this article. I'd also recommend doing partial pull ups once you get to the stage where you're doing eccentrics, because you need to learn to lift yourself. I've seen people do half a dozen negatives and still be no closer to doing a single pull up because they have no concentric strength.

    As the link says early on, other pulling exercises such as deadlifts and rows will help out a lot.
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  16. #16
    Registered User Biohazard81's Avatar
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    I was/am also struggling with pull ups and about 4 weeks ago I purchased a pull up band for my pull up bar (http://rubberbanditz.com/pull-up-bands/), 75lbs resistance, which means I'm actually pulling (I'm 137) 62lbs. I've found it to work way better than the chair, or negatives, for me. In 3 weeks, doing this twice a week, I was able to do HALF a pull up last Friday. I know, it isnt much, but for me that is great progress!
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  17. #17
    Cupcakes < Dumbbellls CourtneysSweets's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Biohazard81 View Post
    I was/am also struggling with pull ups and about 4 weeks ago I purchased a pull up band for my pull up bar , 75lbs resistance, which means I'm actually pulling (I'm 137) 62lbs. I've found it to work way better than the chair, or negatives, for me. In 3 weeks, doing this twice a week, I was able to do HALF a pull up last Friday. I know, it isnt much, but for me that is great progress!
    I'm thinking of getting this. My friend who does cross fit also recommended this and she has been doing it for about 2 months and finally did her first pullup!
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  18. #18
    Posts Photos of Food dsm246's Avatar
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    Update: I actually did my first real dead hang pull up this week. Now i just have to get to 2. So it definitely can be done, ya just have to keep working on it.
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  19. #19
    Registered User sy2502's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by dsm246 View Post
    Update: I actually did my first real dead hang pull up this week. Now i just have to get to 2. So it definitely can be done, ya just have to keep working on it.
    Yey, good job!!! It felt good didn't it?
    I try to rep back, but I always neg back.

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