Strict Chest To Bar Pull Ups


Kat Dalecki, Australian CrossFit Regional Athlete for Reebok CrossFit GCS demonstrates how to do strict Chest to Bar (CTB) Pull Ups.

Points to note:
1. From the hang, she takes her time to set her posture up correctly. Doing this maximizes her ability to pull herself up with a stiff but responsive spine.

2. Minimal thoracolumbar spinal extension. Kat had done over an hour's worth of heavy programming so it isn't technically perfect but pretty damned good. When you extend in the thoracolumbar spine to do strict pull ups, you "bleed" energy - you might be able to do more reps but in the long run, your overall strength will plateau sooner. It is better to develop your strength with your weaker areas dictating the load. Good technique ALWAYS triumphs over weights and reps in the Physiotherapy world.

3. Head and chin stays in place throughout the movement. This ensures that the anterior and posterior muscles are in the optimum position for the movement. Try to avoid poking the chin up to break the plane of the bar when training - when competing, I understand the need to do whatever is safe but necessary to achieve your goals...but you should practice as strictly as possible as often as possible.

4. The shoulders retract to commence the movement but it is not excessive. Kat commences the movement and it flows into the whole sequence nicely. Practicing the retraction from the dead hang is a good technique to practice. However, remember that it isn't about pulling as far down as you can before you pull up.

5. Kat controls the descent all the way to the bottom. There are NO hard jarring moments in her shoulders, no weak spots in her range, or a rapid, uncontrolled descent. Practicing this way allows you to develop your strength overall.

Strengthening your strict pullups - whether it be chest to bar or chin over bar is like any strength program - try 5 sets of max reps with perfect form with 2-3mins between sets. If you cannot do 1 rep, then get on a box, get to the end (pulled up) position and practice the descent only. If that is too uncontrolled, leave your feet on the box. The more you practice, the better you will become.

Please post your questions, comments or video links below for feedback 🙂

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