Ease your way into a Pull-up
By Thomas DeLauer
Equipment based training is an important part of building a solid structured back. However, if you are limited in equipment or new to pull-ups here are a few ways to start building your back using only body weight. These four movements will help you progress into performing a strong pull-up.
Looking for more exercise tips? Watch DeLauer’s box jump video.
About the Author
From 280lbs to the Covers of Magazines... All by living a lifestyle that is honest and real. Thomas DeLauer brings the nutrition expertise along with a unique perspective on health and wellness that is everything HYLETE.
The following is a transcription of the above video:
What's going on, Hylete nation? It's Thomas DeLauer, your community captain. All right. Here's the problem with back exercises. When it comes down to how we like to structure workouts and especially what we're all about when it comes down to the Hylete community, is you really need a lot of equipment a lot of times. In order to build a solid back, a lot of times you feel like you need to be having a lot of barbells, you need to be doing a lot of rows, or, at the very least, you need to be able to complete a pull-up. I wanna give you a few ways that you can start building your back with just body weight exercises. That way you can transition into being able to do a pull-up even if you can't already do one.
The first one that I want you to do is, of course, going to be an inverted pull-up. That's going to be where you're laying back on your back and you're using a barbell that is racked up, or you can just use any kind of stable platform that you can use to pull up on. You're gonna go ahead and you're gonna extend your legs straight out in front of you. You're gonna hold your hands a little bit wider than shoulder-width apart. You're gonna go through a simple pull-up style motion. You can bend your knees however much you need to in order to make the movement a little bit easier and slowly and gradually make it so that your feet are further and further away from you to add a little bit of extra resistance. This is the obvious one.
The next one is going to be called a y raise. This y raise is great for building up that scapular abduction strength. You wanna be able to retract your scapula as much as you can in order to get stronger to ultimately do a pull-up. That's the natural progression. Once you can do a pull-up then you're in a really good situation. This movement looks something like this. You're gonna lay down on your stomach and you're gonna hold your arms out over your head as if you were making yourself into a giant y. All you're going to do is lift your torso up just a couple of inches and then lift your arms up another couple of inches past that. It may not seem like much, but by getting your scapula a little bit stronger, you are definitely going to be able to get your movement a little bit stronger when it comes down to a pull-up.
The next one I wanna talk about is a good old-fashioned scapula push-up. This is where you're gonna start in a push-up position. You're gonna go ahead and complete a push-up if you want to and then you're gonna press up and you're gonna really try to retract the scapula at the top of the movement. Additionally, you could do one other thing by doing a regular push-up with a hand release at the bottom. In fact, you see this in the Hylete daily circuit quite often. That's where you come down to the bottom of your push-up and then you bring your hands up and retract your scapula. This is another variation of a scapular push-up.
I know these movements aren't huge and they're not ones that are gonna build a massive back, but we're really limited with what we can do when it comes down to body weight movements for the back. This is a great place to start so that you can progress onto a pull-up and then move from there. Once you can do a pull-up you can add a little bit of resistance and you can get the size and the width and the actual detail to your back that you're after when it comes down to building the body that you're after.
I'll see you in the next Hylete video. Thanks again. As always, make sure you check out the awesome line of clothing that Hylete's bringing to you and cutting out the middle man so that you can get the best price possible. See you soon.