If you have spent any time with me in the past six months you have probably heard me talk about my pull up goal. I am working on doing a proper pull-up (from hanging with straight arms, not jumping, overhand grip, shoulders down, pulling my face up higher than the bar, then all the way back down to straight arms in one smooth motion). My goal was to do one of these by my 43rd birthday (which was June 28 – mark your calendars for next year). It is now mid July and I am this close! I can jump, grab the bar and pull up, and I can do a chin up (underhand grip) from hanging, so I know that soon I will have it.
One of my clients recently brought me this New York Times article the author talks about his struggle with pull-ups, and how after running into some men at the park (not personal trainers by the way, just regular dudes) he realized he was doing pull-ups all wrong. What I love about his story is the way the men offered him corrections on his form. They seemed so sweet, as if they were genuinely trying to help him, not make him feel bad, or show him up.
The author realizes that in addition to correcting his form, he needs to strengthen all of his muscles, not just arms to effectively pull himself up. He writes:
“Novices rely too much on their biceps. A proper pull up is a yogic feat of concentration and grace. It’s possible only when multiple muscle groups are working in tandem: the biceps, the lats, legs, abs, and lower back”
What are your summer fitness goals and how can I help you achieve them?
Anne McCranie is a Portland, Oregon based licensed massage therapist and personal trainer. She works with her clients one on one and in small groups to aid in pain relief, build strength and reduce stress.