T Nation

Pull Ups/Chin Ups All the Way to the Bar


What does it take to touch the bar to the chest? Ive read nate green's article on pullups and tried the stuff in the article but the top portion of the motion stops me like a brick wall. Even tried practicing on a the assisted machine but still need 2-3 inches to get up to the bar.

I try to think of it as a chest up, stick my chest out, look up a little... cant touch it
Weighing 230 doesnt help but thats not an excuse
Whats the checklist for people that can do a pull/chinups all the way up to the bar?


How many 2-3 inches away pull-ups/chin-ups can you do?


Chest up, shoulders back and pull chest up to bar. Try not to "kip" the legs, although some cheating is allowed on the last rep or 2 when going to failure.
Im 210 lbs and I can do a max of about 8 pull ups and 12 chins.
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I can do 5-6 max 3 no matter what. Terrible i know. Chins are even harder for me. Neutral grip same as normal pullups. I did 10 once when i was stoned. I was 10 pounds lighter at the time. I can also post a video if any wants.


I agree. Your problem may not be the top portion of the lift but your overall strength on the pull-up/chin-up. Before advice can be given it would help to know how many said pull/chin ups you can perform.


I seem to have posted right after you just answer my question haha, anyway i would suggest you try and make sure you just improve your chin/pull up before trying to get your chest up. Being able to get your chest all the way to the bar does require a bit of strength so personally id get better at the chin/pull up using the current ROM and in time you will eventually be able (once your more at ease with pulling your bodyweight) to pull your chest up to the bar.


Your weight isnt the problem. Your bodyfat % is part of the problem.


Understood gotta grease the groove for a while.


Polish mother bonez that all i have to say. Damn you potatoes and kielbasa. I gotta try eating 100 carbs a day and see how that works. Less milk and potatoes.


Aside from the diet, I'd say worry about getting more reps in before you think about getting them perfect. I only base this on my own experience. I couldn't do a picture-perfect pull-up until I could slam out around 12 while not thinking about form.

So yeah, what kursk said


When you do a pulldown can you bring the bar all the way to your chest? Many times this is a MOBILITY issue...not strength.




I can do pulldowns in all grips to the chest so its lack of strength rather then a mobility issue.


If you are struggling with pull ups. Utilize the PLP system written this past month. It will help on other factors such as thickening your back, chest, defining legs some and helping your waist.

Since from your conversation i assume you cannot do 10 consecutive pull ups you would start at 1. do 1 pull up 1 push up and 1 lunge on each leg, add a rep every day, do the program for 60 consecutive days. It will help you bring up your pull ups and others along the way.

Its a neat accessory program to be done 4-6 hours before or after your actual lift. and should help with your lack of being able to touch the bar.


Don't start all that again


try doing an extended pause, hold and squeeze on heavy cable pulldowns and rows as prescribed by CT. Really try to get extra contraction in the lats at the bottom portion. Then try to do your pullups more explosively, until you can use more strict form.


I tried doing this and i feel like im going a lil higher.
On pullups i did 10 sets of 3 reps 1st rep 3 second hold at the top 2nd rep 2 seconds and 3rd red 1 second at the top.
Same with dips 3 reps but pausing at the bottom and focusing to explode.