Calistenics Style Pull Up Bar | Here's where to start!

By the healthiergang writer Gianpaolo Romita, personal trainer specialized in functional training and calisthenics, coach at the Calisthenics Trieste center.

Calistenics Pull-up Bar

Le pull ups they are a very complete and coveted exercise in the world of fitness and more in strength training, too often you see executions with reduced rom (range of motion).

All this derives from the simple fact that no specific and progressive conditioning and preparation work has been done at the base.

For all those who are still working on mastering them I recommend reading this article in which I illustrate some exercises that will allow you to master them better.

Working the basics well is essential to perform clean and complete movements in the most advanced and difficult progressions.

# 1 Horizontal pull exercises

To perform exercises such as pull-ups correctly and with various types of grip, (chin-up, pull-up, muscle-up, etc ...) you have to start by concentrating on pulling exercises on the horizontal plane such as rows or australian pull-ups with the feet in support, the same, using a more favorable lever, allow you to build a solid foundation of strength and general conditioning.

Dedicating time to this exercise will allow you to build good strength on the shoulder retraction movements, in the flexion of the humerus as well as in the grip strength, before approaching the more advanced exercises of pulling the bar.

Whether to run 5 sets of 8-12 repetitions, with a 1 minute break between sets, should it be easy for you, you can make the exercise more difficult, using a lift under your feet bringing them to hand height, as in the following photo, in this way your pulling force will be even greater and your future pull-ups will certainly be performed over a full range of motion and with perfect technique as is customary in calisthenics!

Here is a more difficult variant with the feet at hand height

# 2 Staying hanging on the bar 

Hanging from the bar will affect your grip strength and improve the mobility of your shoulders.

It will be very useful to work on the mobility of the shoulders and the strength of the grip at the same time, nothing better than spending time hanging on the bar to satisfy both needs. This will give you good stamina and help prevent annoying injuries, preparing your back for future work.

Minimum requirement 4-5 holding series of at least 60 seconds, with a 1 minute pause between the series.

# 3 Isometric seals at the top

Once you have reached the target of the previous path, it is time to perform an isometric traction in the upper part, (if you do not manage it yet you can use a box but I am sure it will not be necessary) an excellent exercise for gaining resistance in pull-ups, develop strength in the upper part and condition your tendons for future work, it is important to tighten the bar tightly, close the elbows well, keep the shoulder blades well retracted and depressed, in this case the minimum requirement is to remain in position 4-5 sets of 30 seconds, with a 30-second pause between sets.

It will be very useful to build strength throughout the range of motion, perform the eccentric phase as slowly and controlled as possible until the arms are fully extended.

# 4 Concentric pull-ups

Now concentrate on the pull-ups on the bar, always perform full rom movements trying to always extend your arms in the lower part and always bring the bar to the chest in the upper part, the chin-up tractions will be useful for you to acquire a good strength level for the more advanced prone (pull-ups), a good requirement is to perform 5 sets of 5 reps performed in perfect shape with a 1 minute break between sets.

I advise you to vary the grip from time to time to avoid stalls in progress, in this way you will stimulate different muscles and build a more complete overall strength. Variations are: supine, prone and neutral grip as in the photos below.

summing up

1. If you want to perform perfect pull-ups, focus on horizontal pull exercises and variations as basic conditioning to work the strength on as much range of motion as possible.

2. Spend time hanging from the bar to improve the mobility of your shoulders and condition your grip.

3. Top isometric seals are the best exercise to condition your tendons to build strength in the highest position, plus any eccentric descent will help build strength throughout the range of motion.

4. Concentric tractions, the various possible holds and why it is important to vary them.

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