Tip: Do the Flying Pull-Up

It'll make you look like a ninja warrior and it's just plain fun. Master this bodyweight exercise.

The flying pull-up can develop explosive upper-body strength and coordination. But if we're being honest, that's not why most people do it. The main reason they do it? It's downright fun. Plus it'll add variety to your program and keep your training challenging.

Here's how to do it.

Step 1: Be Able to Perform 5 Regular Pull-Ups

The strict pull-up is a prerequisite. This is an explosive movement which places a large eccentric load on your arms, so having a baseline of strength is essential to protect your shoulders.

Step 2: Learn to Create Power from the Hips

The flying pull-up is a full-body movement requiring a lot of engagement from the hips as you move from bar to bar. To learn how to generate power you should have a good grasp of the arch and "hollow body" positioning when hanging.

Begin by bringing your chest forward and feet back to "load" your lats. Once you feel a stretch through the lats, retract your shoulders, pulling yourself out and away from the bar. Think of driving your hips up towards the bar.

Step 3: Start Small, Have a Safe Place to Land

Before you try to transition from one bar to another, have a safe place to land should you miss. This movement takes a considerable amount of power and coordination so make sure you don't have far to fall. Also, start with one bar at a time.

Flying Pull-Up Transition Practice

Use the arch and hollow technique from step two to generate power from the hips. Once you've "hollowed" out your body, forcefully pull on the bar and release your grip. Quickly move both hands from the low bar to the high bar and catch yourself midair.

Control your swinging by engaging your core. Pull yourself forward from the high bar and catch the low bar before you touch the ground.

Practice going from the lower bar to the higher bar on your rig until you get the technique down. Once you can complete a few successful transitions, move to the flying pull-up bar. Continue to develop your strength and power until you can skip a bar or two.

TJ Kuster is a certified athletic trainer (ATC) and certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), specializing in mobility and injury prevention. He coaches at Method Sports Performance in Bloomington, IL.