The Hanging High Pull
This is one of the best moves for building insane total body power and adding size to your upper back.
How To Do It
- Start in the hang position with your back flat at about 45 degrees, a shoulder-width grip on the bar, and the bar at around knee level.
- Explosively extend your hips, driving your elbows up, keeping the bar close to your body. Keep your elbows higher than the bar and use as much explosive power as you can.
- Catch and reset each rep, starting back at the hang position.
Sets and Reps
- For size: 4-5 sets of 6-8 reps with 90--120 seconds rest.
- For power and strength: 5 x 3 with 90--120 seconds rest.
Why It's So Awesome
By doing explosive high pulls at the beginning of your workout, you'll prime your CNS and activate more muscle fibers. This results in what's known as "the size principle." According to the size principle, there are two ways to maximize muscle fiber recruitment: either lift a heavier weight or lift a lighter weight more explosively.
So while you're directly stressing the rear delts, traps, and rhomboids you'll also be potentiating hundreds of muscles from head to toe. As a result, you'll boost muscle fiber recruitment for the rest of your workout, making your pull-ups, rows, shrugs, and farmer's carries even more effective for muscle growth.
As a bonus, the high pull has a much shorter learning curve and less joint stress than more common Olympic lifts like the clean and snatch. Instead of beating the snot out of your wrists, the hanging high pull gets over 200 muscles to simultaneously relax and contract and explosively lift big weights, while the hang position adds eccentric stress to build dense, powerful muscle.