Tip: Make Your Pull-Ups Stricter and Tougher

If kipping your pull-ups is cheating, then this little trick is just the opposite. It'll make pull-ups even more challenging and keep your form tight.

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Foam Roller Pull-Ups

Hold a foam roller between your thighs with your knees bent at 90 degrees. Now do some pull-ups. Get ready to be very surprised. Fan of kipping? You will be exposed. Lack torso and abdominal strength? You will be exposed.

Pullup 1

Pullup 2

Prepare to be humbled. Foam roller pull-ups can cut your numbers by 20-30%. If 15 pull-ups is your standard, don't be surprised if you only get 10-12 with this method.

Putting the knees at 90 degrees gives a co-activation of the lats, since part of the muscle originates at the hip. Add the foam roller for adduction and you get a double whammy of abdominal wall and adductor contraction that forces you to stay locked in and stiff.

This is also a convenient way to advance pull-ups without going on a search for a dip belt or weight vest to add load.

Joel Sanders is a top authority on training methods and techniques for fat loss and muscle hypertrophy. He trains sports and physique athletes as well as everyday people out of EXOS in Phoenix, AZ. Follow Joel Sanders on Twitter