Common Pull-Up Mistakes

The Flaw: KippingThe Fix: Here’s the deal – if you’re doing CrossFit, pumping out high reps of pull-ups and you’re experienced with the technique, go ahead and kip. But if your goal is to build maximal upper-body pulling strength and lat size, stick to strict pull-ups with no momentum created by the lower body. Heck, even CrossFit gyms prescribe strict pull-ups on a regular basis these days. The Flaw: Stopping short at the bottomThe Fix: Pull-ups are tough, so it’s tempting to stop at the bottom of each rep when the arms are still bent 20-30 degrees.

Don’t do it. Go down all the way, until the elbows are fully extended. It may decrease your rep counts, but you’ll be bigger and stronger in the long run. The Flaw: Sticking to one gripThe Fix: As with any major movement, grip variety is highly recommended with pull-ups to increase strength from allangles and arm positions. Don’t just use the grip you’re best at. Mix in at least three different hand placements on a regular basis – wide (at least shoulder width) and overhand, narrow and underhand (aka chin-ups), and neutral (palms facing each other if the pull-up station you’re using has parallel bars). Use a different grip every workout or even every set.

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