4 Common Mistakes When Performing a Strict Pull-Up

Military Pull-Ups

Here are a few things to watch out for when performing a strict pull-up.

1) Allowing the shoulders to relax when hanging from the bar.  This will put undue stress in the ligaments and tendons.  Keep the shoulders active by pulling them down and into the socket.  A helpful tip is to keep the shoulders away from your ears.  Think of the ears as shoulder poison in this situation.

2) Poor posture that results from using some form of pull-up assistance.  If you need to use assistance such as a machine or resistance band, the band is usually the better choice.  Most assistance machines have a pad where you place your knees and it’s easy to have poor posture when in this position.  You can usually place your foot in a band allowing for normal pull-up positioning and better posture.  This will help keep your shoulders healthy and happy.

3) Swinging the body for momentum.  Sure, it will help you get more reps, but you won’t be working the muscles that are targeted using strict version.  This can also wreak havoc on your rotator cuff and back.

4) Crossing the legs and keeping the feet behind the body.  The person in the picture above is applying this technique and it’s usually done to increase stability in the core.  However, it usually leads to an over-extension of the spine which will reduce stability in the shoulders.  The person will often be tempted to swing the knees forward for momentum.  A better strategy is to keep the legs extended and together.  It will help keep the whole body stable.

Clean up these 4 common mistakes for better strict pull-ups.

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