We’ve discussed this in some posts and on the exercise descriptions in the past, but have yet to make an official post on it.
We post a lot of workout routines that involve pull ups, and that is because we and many fitness professionals believe it is, by far, one of the best upper body exercises one can do. All it takes is your body weight and a bar (the simple stuff is sometimes the best). It can be tough however to develop that initial strength to do pull ups. We know from experience. It can also be discouraging for some beacause they’ll think if they can’t even do one, what’s the point of trying, or how can they even develop the strength to perform more than one?
Well the answer is to perform what is called a “Negative” Pull Up. The way to perform a negative pull up (there will also be a video at the end of this post) is to hoist yourself up over the bar with either a jump, or using a step/chair to get your body up over the bar. Then from there the goal is to resist gravity wanting to pull your body down, and to lower your body back to the starting pull up position as SLOWLY AND CONTROLLED as possible. The scientific reasoning behind this is that the slower you lower yourself back down (the slower you perform any exercise in general) it actually recruits more muscle fibers to help perform the exercise, which in turn leads to a greater increase in strength (I’ll spare you all with going into the physiology behind it more!). Since the Pull Up uses so many upper body muscles, (lats, traps, biceps, and many other muscles of the backs and shoulder complex) it is one of the best ways to work a large amount of muscles with one simple exercise.
NEGATIVE PULL UP You’ll notice I jump to get myself up above the bar, then resist gravity by lowering myself as slow and in control as my body allows. You can also use a chair/step to help hoist you above the bar, or if you have someone with you, they can help push you up above the bar.
So if you are struggling with pull ups, this is a great way to work on developing that initial strength. On days we post pull ups, perform a total of 10 Negative Pull Ups in place of the pull ups we have posted. Here is another list of exercises that can help develop the muscles involved with a pull up.
1. Lat Pulldowns (If you are a gym member)
2. Dumbbell Rows (or Push Up Rows the emphasis being on the row)
3. Bicep Blasters
Note: The “Negative” can also be used for other exercises where gravity is the main component. Examples include: Squats, Push Up (All variations on the YouTube Channel), Lunges, Bent Over Rows.
Feel free to email us with comments, questions, or feedback at Midwestfit@gmail.com
- MidwestFit Team