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Pull ups... all the ab training you need?

Ok, I really love doing pull ups and doing lots and lots of them are one of my goals. I try to do at least 100 a workout twice a week (about 25 of them 5x5 style with 45’s, the rest in ladder form). I know that sounds like overtraining but I want to increase strength, not necessarily muscle. Anyway, after a pull up session my abs become extremely tense. They will be much more sore than if I did 100 sit ups. Since I do pull ups fairly often, think it would be ok to throw out crunches, situps and most other ab work altogether? Is this a different type of soreness because it is an isometric working of the abs? Anyone know? Thanks.

Your doing your pull-ups wrong if your abs are sore.

I haven’t cut out ab training all together; abs are all too important to maintain. Especially to be able to perform such exercises as squats, deads- just about any of the big compound exercises.

Since beginning the 5x5 program, I've been performing ab work at home. I have a fitball so that I can perform ab work that way. Also do the usual crunches and reverse crunches. This gives me something to do while watching my fave TV programs.

But, I'm wondering why your abs become sore by doing pull-ups? When I perform pull-ups, my legs/lower body is relaxed - so that my back is doing the work. Ko is usually holding onto my feet, too. This is just curious to me.

well, one reason may be that I am holding the dumbbell between my feet… I’m not sure how that affects things. I’m pretty sure I’ve read somewhere (on this site even, can’t find it though :frowning: )that abs are involved in pull ups and I can definitely feel them. You do have to tighten your upper abs when doing them… I didn’t really feel them before when I was just doing 3x10, only recently with the high volume sets. Coach here says my form is good :stuck_out_tongue:

of course abs are involved. you are stretching them by doing pullups. It’s the opposite of doing a crunch which is contracting them. Remember that muscles is hurt by contracting and stretching. Think of all the other motions you do. If a certain area of the abs are sore then try to find a different part of the abs to train. There are the upper, lower, obliques, and inner abs. Also you are doing your pullups wrong. Anyone doing pullups to a high intensity will tighten his midsection as with any other excercise when they are doing their concentric motion. You are breathing out so you will naturally tighten the abs. Plus you are adding a stress by holding a dumbell with your feet. Try to use a weight belt if you can. laters pk

Hey gordan. I am a little bit interested in your pull up routine. Is it just the basic 5x5 protocol? If so, at what point did you add weight? when all sets hit 5 reps? I am going to be doing an intense pull up routine in a couple of weeks and was looking for a few ideas. Also, what kind of grips are you using. etc.

I meant that you ARE NOT doing your pullups wrong. I’m losing my mind with the low carb diet. laters pk

YES, you are most likely performing your pullups wrong. The reason why people get sore in the abdominal region doing pullups is, during the concentric phase, the tendency is to posteriorly rotate the pelvis, pulling your legs forward, activating the hip flexor muscles (iliopsoas, rectus femoris) and the rectus abdominus. 90% of folks have this problem that I have worked with, so don’t feel like your doing anything terribly wrong. Just work on keeping your legs perpendicular to the floor and as relaxed as possible during the concentric portion of the lift. It takes somediscipline, but it is truly worth it load the back as much as possible.

Gosh, thanks Rexor for that clarification. With all this talk here about the “abs becoming involved” and being rightfully sore from pull ups, I thought I had missed something from all my years of performing one of my favorite back exercises.

i never said the abs were involved doing the pullup itself. I just said that the stretching of the muscles while under load would have an effect. Why is that so hard to understand. Just raise your arms up in the air and take a breath. Where do you feel the pressure? Your upper abs. If i go by your line of reasoning then my abs should not be sore after a real hard full back squating routine because the abs were not doing the lifting. Or why do you suggest my traps hurt from doing 405 # deadlifts when i’m not doing any shoulder shrugs. Just because the muscle is not necesarilly involved in the power stroke does not mean the tension that is placed on it will not create a soreness. Now i agree with the fact that a lot of people swing on the pullups and try to kick their legs forward for momentum. I’m not saying that is correct to do. I end up doing it also sometimes when i’m trying to finish a set which signals to me that i am finished. Now this guy is trying to get strong and he is using additional weight. he’s using high intensity. You go tell a guy to relax when hes doing a high intensity workout. Thats any oxymoron. Your whole body tightens up as you try to muster up all the nerve you got. If you know of any other smart things let me know. laters pk