Why Are Pull Ups So Hard To Progress? (12 Vital Tips To Get Over Hump)

L J Kudos

Why Are Pull Ups So Hard To Progress? (12 Vital Tips To Get Over Hump)

If you’re reading this, you’re probably wondering why pull ups are so hard to progress.

The simple answer is that they require a lot of strength and endurance – both of which take time to develop.

However, there are a few things you can do to make the process a little easier. 

Pull ups are a great way to build upper body strength, but the progression curve can be a steep one. 

There are a few things you can do which will allow you to progress gradually over time.

Why Are Pull Ups So Hard To Progress?

Pull ups can be difficult to progress because they require you to lift your entire body weight, they place a lot of stress on your joints and connective tissues, which can make them difficult to do for people who are new to strength training. However, with consistent practice and proper form, pull ups can be a great way to build upper body strength. Do you have any issues gripping the bar? This can make the exercise harder than it needs to be. You also have to think about changing up your routine if things aren’t progressing. Doing the same thing over and over will only get you so far. You need to find a new challenge to help you move forward.

If you’re struggling to do pull ups, don’t give up! With consistent practice and proper form, you’ll be able to build the strength you need to do this challenging exercise.

What Muscles Do They Use?

The muscles used in a pull up are the latissimus dorsi (lats), biceps, teres major, and rotator cuff.

The lats are the largest muscles in the back and they’re responsible for pulling the arms down. The biceps are located in the front of the upper arm and they help to flex the elbow.

The teres major is a small muscle located in the back of the shoulder and it helps to stabilize the shoulder joint.

The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint and help to keep it stable.

1. What Are Your Goals?

One of the first things you need to do is figure out what your goals are. 

Are you trying to build muscle or are you just looking to get stronger? 

Your goals will dictate how you approach pull ups and other exercises. 

If you’re trying to build muscle, you’ll need to do more reps with lighter weights. 

If you’re just trying to get stronger, you can focus on doing fewer reps with heavier weights. 

Figure out what your goals are and then create a plan to help you achieve them.

Why Are Pull Ups So Hard To Progress?
Deciding on your goals will help you achieve the best results

2. Strengthening The Muscles Used In A Pull Up

Primarily the back, shoulders, and biceps will make the exercise easier and help you see progress. 

Start by doing exercises that target these muscle groups, such as rows, lat pull-downs, and bicep curls. 

As you get stronger, you’ll be able to do more reps of these exercises and eventually move on to doing pull ups.

Do you have weak back muscles? This can make it difficult to do a pull up because you won’t have the strength to lift your body weight.

You need to have a strong lower back to be able to do a pull up. 

Start by doing exercises that target the spinal erector muscles, such as Superman’s and bird dogs. 

As you get stronger, you’ll be able to do more reps of these exercises and eventually move on to doing pull ups.

When it comes to doing a pull up, your abdominal muscles play an important role. 

Your abs help to stabilize your body and give you the strength you need to lift your body weight. 

Start by doing exercises that target the abdominal muscles, such as crunches and sit-ups. 

Your biceps are one of the muscles used in a pull up. If your biceps are weak, it can make it difficult to do a pull up. 

Start by doing exercises that target the biceps. As you get stronger, you’ll be able to do more reps of these exercises and eventually move on to doing pull ups.

Work on improving strength and targeting the muscle groups above will help your pull up game no end.

Related: Why Is My Bench Press So Weak? (12 Crucial Things To Consider)

3. Change Up Your Grip

One of the best ways to make pull ups easier is to change up your grip. 

There are a few different grips you can use, and each one targets different muscles. 

For example, using an overhand grip (palms facing away from you) will target your biceps more than using an underhand grip (palms facing toward you). 

You can also try using a neutral grip (palms facing each other), which is a good middle ground between the two.

A weak grip is one of the main reasons why people fail to do pull ups. 

Works towards a strong grip by doing exercises such as farmer’s walks, grip strength exercises, and deadlifts. 

Increasing your grip strength will make it easier to do pull ups and help you see progress.

So make sure you’re using a grip that’s comfortable for you and that you can hold for the entire set.

Switch Up Your Hand Position

Another way to make pull ups easier is to switch up your hand position. 

Instead of keeping your hands shoulder-width apart, you can try widening your grip or narrowing your grip. 

Widening your grip will target your back muscles more while narrowing your grip will target your biceps more. 

You can also try placing your hands in different positions on the bar. 

For example, you can try placing one hand higher than the other, or placing one hand closer to your body than the other.

4. Use An Assisted Pull Up Machine

If you’re still having trouble doing pull ups, you can try using an assisted pull up machine. 

These machines use weight to help you lift your body.

You can adjust the weight to make it easier or harder, depending on your strength. 

Use a Band

If you just can’t seem to do a single pull up, then using a band can be a great way to get started. 

Place the band around the pull up bar, and put your feet in the loop. 

As you pull yourself up, the band will help to lift your body weight. 

Both the machine and a band are great ways of starting you off on your pull up journey, as they will allow you to get extra reps in and will also give you a confidence boost in the process.

Static Holds

Static holds are a great way to build the strength you need for pull ups. 

To do a static hold, simply grab the pull up bar with an overhand grip (palms facing away from you), and hang from the bar for as long as you can. 

Start with 30-second holds and work your way up from there. 

As you get stronger, you’ll be able to hold for longer periods of time.

Plyometric Pull Ups

Plyometric pull ups are a great way to build the explosive power you need to do a pull up. 

To do a plyometric pull up, start by jumping up and grabbing the pull up bar with an overhand grip (palms facing away from you). 

From there, quickly pull yourself up so that your chin clears the bar. 

As you come down, make sure to absorb the impact by landing softly on your toes. 

Start with 3 sets of 5 reps and work your way up from there.

Try A Different Variation Of The Pull Up

One of the main reasons why people find pull ups so difficult is because they try to do them with an overhand grip. 

This grip can be quite difficult on your body, especially if you don’t have a lot of upper body strength. 

Instead, try using a different grip such as an underhand grip or a neutral grip. 

You may find that these grips are much easier on your body and will allow you to do more reps.

5. Use A Weight Vest

Try this only if you are already doing pull ups but seem to have plateaued.

I wouldn’t recommend a weight vest for anyone who is struggling to even do a few pull ups, concentrate on lifting your body weight before adding the vest or other weight.

However, If you’re looking for a challenge, then try using a weight vest. 

Adding extra weight to your body will make the exercise much more difficult, but it will also help you build strength much faster.

Start with a light weight and gradually increase the amount of weight as you get stronger.

6. Increase Your Frequency

If you’re having trouble progressing with pull ups, then one of the best things you can do is to increase your frequency. 

Instead of doing them once a week, try doing them two or three times a week. 

The more you practice, the better you’ll become at the exercise and the easier it will be to progress.

Even try doing a few here and there through the day if you have the option to, as this will be a great way of increasing the volume of reps you are doing daily.

Related: Is Progressive Overload Important On A Calorie Deficit? (4 Things To Achieve Maximum Overload)

7. You Have To Lift Your Entire Body Weight

One of the main reasons why pull ups are so difficult is because you have to lift your entire body weight. 

This can be quite challenging, especially if you don’t have a lot of upper body strength. 

If you find that you’re struggling to do even one pull up, then make sure you’re using the proper form. 

Focus on engaging your back and shoulder muscles and make sure you’re not swinging your body as you lift yourself. 

It may take some practice, but with time and consistency, you’ll be able to do more and more pull ups.

8. Consistency Is Key

The most important thing to remember when it comes to pull ups is that consistency is key. 

If you want to get better at them, then you need to practice regularly. 

Focus on doing a few sets of pull ups every day or every other day. 

The more you do them, the stronger you’ll become and the easier it will be to progress.

Rest

Make sure you’re giving your body enough time to rest in between sets. 

If you try to do too many pull ups without resting, then you’ll only make it harder on yourself and it will be more difficult to progress. 

Instead, focus on doing a few sets of pull ups with proper form and then take a minute or two to rest in between sets. 

This will help your muscles recover so that you can give each set you’re all.

9. Joint And Connective Tissue Stress

Another reason why pull ups can be difficult is that they place a lot of stress on your joints and connective tissues. 

This can be tough for people who are new to strength training, as their bodies may not be used to this type of stress. 

If you find that you’re struggling with pull ups, then make sure you’re taking the time to warm up and cool down properly. 

Stretch your muscles before and after your workout, and focus on using proper form throughout the exercise. 

With time and practice, your body will become more accustomed to this type of stress and you’ll find it easier to do pull ups.

Why Are Pull Ups So Hard To Progress?

10. You Need Good Range Of Motion

To do a proper pull up, you need to have a good range of motion in your shoulders. 

If your shoulders are tight, then it can be quite difficult to do even one pull up. 

Make sure you’re stretching your shoulders regularly, and focus on using proper form throughout the exercise. 

With time and practice, you should be able to improve your range of motion and make it easier to do pull ups.

11. You Need To Be Explosive

Pull ups are an explosive exercise, which means you need to generate a lot of power to lift your body. 

This can be quite difficult, especially if you don’t have a lot of upper body strength. 

To make the exercise easier, focus on using a slower and more controlled tempo. 

As you get stronger, you can start to increase the speed at which you do the exercise. 

One of the most important things to focus on when doing pull ups is your form. 

If your form is incorrect, then it can be quite difficult to do the exercise properly. 

Make sure you’re using a full range of motion and focus on engaging your back and shoulder muscles. 

Additionally, make sure you’re not swinging your body as you lift yourself up. 

Your form is key to being able to do pull ups correctly, so make sure you’re taking the time to focus on it.

You Need To Use Your Whole Body

When doing pull ups, you must use your whole body. 

Many people make the mistake of only using their arms, which can make the exercise quite difficult. 

Instead, focus on using your legs, back, and core muscles to help lift your body. 

This will take some practice, but with time you should be able to master the movement and make it easier to do pull ups.

12. Mental Hurdles 

A lot of the difficulty with pull ups comes from the fact that they are a mental challenge as well as a physical one. 

Many people give up before they’ve even started because they think they can’t do it. 

If you find yourself struggling with this exercise, then it’s important to focus on your mindset. 

Believe in yourself and know that you can do it. 

It may take some time and practice, but with consistency and determination, you will be able to do pull ups. 

Try some of these variations to build strength without a bar

Final Thoughts…

Pull ups are a great exercise for building upper body strength, but they can be difficult to progress. 

One of the main reasons pull ups are so hard to progress is because they require you to lift your entire body weight. 

If you don’t have strong muscles, it can be tough to do even one pull up. 

Additionally, pull ups place a lot of stress on your joints and connective tissues, which can make them difficult to do for people who are new to strength training. 

However, with consistent practice and proper form, pull ups can be a great way to build upper body strength.

If you’re struggling with this exercise, then make sure you focus on using proper form and technique. 

Additionally, focus on using your whole body to help lift your weight. 

With time and practice, you should be able to make progress with this exercise and build the upper body strength you desire.

Don’t give up, keep practicing and you’ll be able to do pull ups in no time!

If you enjoy sport and use CBD to help with your recovery in between gruelling workouts, then you are in the right place. Here at Sport CBDs, we train hard and recover the best way possible…

We have regular workouts (check out the YouTube channel), CBD news and CBD products to help you gain that edge! 

If you wanted to check out the reputable CBD we have on offer here at the site, then please head to the Sport CBDs Store (CLICK HERE). We also do fitness clothing and yoga accessories too. 

Until next time, all the best…

Beginners Upper Body Kettlebell Workout

Lee

Founder – Sport CBDs


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