My gym pipe dream is simple: I want to learn how to do one (just one!) pull-up. Every time I get to the bar, I hang there and grunt in frustration as fellow gym-goers shake their heads in disapproval (or, at least, I imagine that they are). To see if there’s any hope for my future gain goals, I asked a CrossFit trainer to teach me the beginner version of this impressive move. His suggestion? Go for a jumping pull-up.
“Jumping pull-ups are excellent conditioning practice for all levels,” says Maillard Howell, owner of Dean CrossFit and founder of The Beta Way. “Coaches generally use them as a pull-up regression, so like a pre-pre-pre-cursor to pull-ups.” All you need to get started is a box or stacked weights plates, a pull-up bar (duh), and—of course—an attitude that says “I believe in myself!”
Ready to master the jumping pull-up?
Before you commence jumping, stand on the box and make sure your head is only 6 inches below the bar. (Grab a different box, if necessary.) Your body should look like a column from hands to hips, and your feet will be slightly forward on the box. To test if you’re in the right spot, pick your feet up and make sure you don’t swing back and forth like a pendulum.
Step 1: Once you’re in position, shrug your shoulders as you jump and pull your chin over the bar. Look straight ahead, not up at the ceiling.
Step 2: Release back down and land in your original position.
Step 3: Repeat 10-15 times, mixing the pull-ups with workouts like push-ups or kettlebell swings for a full, totally winding workout.
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