I’ve been practicing negative pull ups for about four weeks now. Although I’ve not been as consistent as I would like, I have started to see some improvements. I can actually do a full negative without flared elbows, I just imagine trying to bend the pull up bar into a ‘U’ shape. Thank you to ‘@adventurepursuitsptandsp’ on Instagram for this visual aid, it really helped! In fact I can perform 2-3 negatives with fairly good form before it feels like my arms are going to fall off, which is definitely a huge improvement from a wobbly, half negative.
I’ve pasted together the first and most recent negative pull up videos, and during the edit I was shocked to see how slow I was going at first! I think it was because I didn’t feel controlled, but now it’s much easier. The next crux is towards the end of the negative, which would be the start of a pull up. I can jump into that position and pull up from there, I can even get a lock off! However getting that initial engagement to pull me into that position is the hard part.
So even though ‘Pull Up Day’ is still far away, I think I’m making steps in the right direction. At the very least it’s all starting to make sense 🙂
I know so many people and climbers who find doing a pull-up easy, but no matter how hard I try I just can’t seem to engage the correct muscles in my back to make me go up! However, I like to think there’s no reason to be discouraged by not being able to do something, even if it feels impossible. I’m sure you’ve seen ‘Magnus Midtbø: The One Finger Pull-up’, the Norwegian climber performs some crazy training sequences I previously thought to be impossible for any human. Go check it out if you haven’t seen it.
Being exposed to so many pinkie finger front levers has kind of inspired me to work my current limits. The main reason I want to be able to do a pull-up is mostly for confidence. I think knowing I can do a basic pull-up or chin-up will help me belive I can make some of those strong moves when bouldering. I know that if I want to get better at climbing then I should just climb, but I don’t feel that there is any harm in adding a few other training bits into the mix. Also, it will work alongside learning to use the campus board for training. So all that’s left to do now is to do it! My plan is to dedicate some time before each climb doing the following couple of exercises on the bar:
Holds: Jumping into the pull up position and holding for as long as your muscles will let you before failure
Negatives: Jumping into the pull up position and slowly lowering yourself down
I don’t think there’s much point getting to complex, so I’ll see how it goes with these.
Naturally there will be some clips and photos of my progress over on Instagram and Twitter, but I’ll be back in a couple of weeks with a blog post on it too.
Any advice is welcome, just leave it in the comments.