Pull-ups: Its Time to Do Bar Hanging Again

If there is one Crossfit movement that I like doing, it is the pull-ups.  I am actually hoping it would make its appearance in the open.

WHAT IT IS

Pull-ups is basically pulling your body up the bar.  In Crossfit workouts, your chin should touch or reach above the bar for it to be considered a valid movement.  It has other variations depending on which body part comes into contact, example is chest to bar and bar muscle ups.

It is a great workout for upper body strength as it uses and works on your hands, arms, shoulders, abdominal and the pelvic floor.

The military would normally have this as part of their tests of upper body strength.  I remember hanging in the monkey bar in high school during our CAT program.  (I don’t remember ever doing one valid rep so I think I just charmed my way up to get the ‘Major’ rank.)

If you’re not convinced, it won’t make you strong, let’s take the Monkeys as an example.  Aside from eating banana, all they do is hang around bars and pull themselves up and down and look at how lean and fit they look.  Kidding!  I don’t really like monkeys and there is no scientific proof of their strength. Lol!

HOW TO DO IT

Start by hanging from pull-up bad using an overhand grip. Your arms and elbows should be fully extended and feet off the floor. From this position, swing your shoulders to allow a hip drive that initiate the upward movement. Your upper body and back muscles pull your body until your chin is above the bar.

PULL-UPS IN CROSSFIT

In Crossfit, pull-ups are usually incorporated in the workout of the days every so often.

Most of my ‘favorite’ benchmark WODs have pull-ups : Angie, Chelsea, Cindy, Barbara, Fran, Mary, Helen and Eva.

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Girls would usually find it harder to do pull-ups than boys. Because of this, we can scale down to assisted pull-ups by using bands ranging from black to green to purple (heaviest to lightest resistance).

My Pull-ups Progress

I have successfully graduated from black to purple through the years. Last year, I did extra workouts to progress and learn to do pull-ups with no bands with the help of my coaches and box-mates Gils & Marts.

The progress was quite successful. I can do it one at a time or more. I still have to work on better hip drive and stronger pull to make it more efficient and eventually workout with high repetitions with no bands.

Pull-ups with Green Bands

Pull-ups with Green Bands – taken by Ian Mondragon sometime in July 2011

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Look Ma, No bands! – taken sometime in December 2012

And then I eased back from Crossfit for almost two months.  Due to lack of time, I stopped working on the pull-ups progression and focused on CF Endurance metcons and strength training.

Back to Zero

I hang on the bar again yesterday. Hang. Swing. Pull. And boom, foreheads up on the bar. Ugh!

I would like to propose a foreheads-up instead to Crossfit or just go to Belo and add more chin muscles 🙂

I wish I'm a girl with long prominent chin.  It could have been easier! :p

I wish I’m a girl with long prominent chin. It could have been easier! :p

As my Coaches would always tell me – Practice, practice, practice!  I think I need pull-ups bar at home.

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Or maybe just go back to bar-hanging (and be more consistent this time)!

….We can never be the best but we can always be a better version of ourselves.

Categories: Race Reports

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