I want to talk to you about doing 10 pull ups.
I’ve given you all kinds of tips and strategies on doing pull ups, assisted pull ups, jump pull ups, that sort of thing but today I want to talk about using a lat pull down machine to help you to improve your pull ups.
When I go to a gym I see people do the lat pull down completely wrong. They are compromising their shoulders, using their biceps, using their abs and chest muscles instead of isolating the back muscles while doing the lap pull down.
My suggestion for working towards 10 pull ups is to get as many pull ups as possible using your body weight. Then, once you can’t get any more pull ups on your own steam, go to the lap pull down machine. It’s best to do pull ups first and then lat pull downs (rather than vice versa) because once you get fatigues on the lat pull down, it’s unlikely that you can get quality pull up reps.
When you’re doing the lap pull down, these are the tips that I want you to be considering:
· You want to brace yourself with the knees under the pad provided.
· You want to have about a shoulder grip width on the bar if using a straight bar.
· There’s a variety of bars in most gyms. You can use a parallel grip, a narrow grip, a narrow, parallel grip. It’s good to be changing the grip up to hit a slightly different angle of pull and areas at your back.
· When you’re doing the lap pull down, you want to work on the starting position. A lot of times I see people too vertical and are pulling behind them so that really compromises the shoulder.
· You want to lead with the chest, look up and bring the bar to the top of the chest so that we’re isolating the back muscles.
· At the top of the movement you want to let the scapula move totally away from the spine so get a good stretch through the lats before you pull that bar down to the chest.
· You should have a slight arch in the back; and look up at the bar.
The most common error I see involves body position. You don’t want to sit up too vertically. You don’t want to be pulling the bar straight down by inwardly rotating the shoulders and crunching the abs. You want to have just a slight lean back and open up the chest. This is the perfect position for the lat pull down or the pull up to isolate the back.
The lat pull down is one movement that you can use (if you have access to one) to help you get 10 pull ups.