You May Also Like

Your horoscope-approved way to have a happy, healthy Thanksgiving week

The most common source of stress in relationships isn’t what you think

The scientific reason to eat your Thanksgiving dinner slowly

Everything you need to prep your bedroom for the post Thanksgiving nap of your life 


Here’s what you *shouldn’t* feed your dog on Thanksgiving

The definitive day-by-day guide to Thanksgiving prep

How to train your body to do pull-ups


Three practices that will help perfect and progress your pull-ups until you can do a real one (or five).
1/5


Rachel Buschert

Pull-ups are hard, but if you want to learn to do them, you can. You just have to, well, do them.

“Any athlete knows that if you want to get good at doing something, you have to do that thing. And if you can’t quite do it, you have to get as close to it as possible,” says expert Equinox trainer and Insanity star Rachel Buschert.

Why? Pull-ups are functional movements that require the strength and coordination of lots of muscles—biceps, triceps, latissimus dorsi, abs, etc. “So in addition to strengthening, you want to train your neuromuscular system to coordinate all the muscle groups at once,” she says. And consistency is key.

If you can’t just grab on and lift yourself up, there are plenty of ways you can train to get there. Here are three that Buschert recommends…

 

Get Started
2/5

Rachel Buschert1. Use a band
Secure a resistance band from your bar and put it under your feet. The band will help lift you up as you rise, but will still make you work. “You’re not as stable as you’d be on an assisted pull-up machine, so the instability is going to help you get stronger,” Buschert says. As you get stronger, you can try lifting up with the band under only one foot or your knees.

 

3/5

Rachel Buschert2. Use a bench
“Real” pull-ups are done from a dead hang, but you can make it easier by placing a bench or chair under your feet so that you’re not hoisting so much weight. Just like with the band, you can then progress to standing on one foot as you get stronger. You can also jump to the bar from the floor or a box, using your momentum for assistance.

 

4/5

Rachel Buschert3. Use a friend (or a trainer)
Having someone lift you up to the bar is another way to go. But since the distance you’ll be pulling up will be so much shorter, the key is to exercise control and lower yourself slowly, making your muscles work hard on the way down.

 

5/5

More Reading

7 reasons women should lift heavy weights

Why crunches won’t give you flat abs, and will hurt your body

5 ab exercises that are better than crunches