Pull-Up Alternative 

One of the best ever upper body exercises is the overhand, hands wider than shoulder width apart pull-up, but being over forty I’ve lifted approximately 4160ton in 25 years of training (approximate body weight x number of reps doing pull-ups per week x 52  x years of training). That’s a lot of weight supportet by the elbow and shoulder joints. Work out how much weight your elbows and shoulders have lifted.

If you have bicep tendinitis I suggest you first make sure it’s nothing too serious, check this out: bicep tendinitis

I’ve researched and tried different ways of doing the pull-up, hoping not to give up on training the lats altogether. I’ve tried using ring pull-ups and underhand pull ups with only a little relief. So I tried a different way which feels so good, and nearly eliminates all the pain from my bicep tendonitis problem. I call it Monkey Pull-Ups. It’s like doing horizontal rope climbing, except you don’t use your legs and you use a pull-up bar instead of a rope. If you don’t have a pull-up bar, find anything with enough length for a bit of travel, most parks have something like this. 

Just a note: this exercise works for me, give it a try, but stop doing it if you experience any pain.

Monkey Pull-Up instructions:

Step 1. Hang off the bar with the palms of your hands facing each other about a hand space apart. Keep your shouldsers close to perpendicular to the travel of the bar.

Pull-up alternative   

Step 2. Like a rocket, pull yourself up aiming for your right shoulder to touch the bar just behind your right hand.

Pull-up alternative    

Step 3. Lower slowly until both arms have a slight bend. Now travel forwards by placing the trailing hand in front of your other hand.

Pull-up alternative forward  

Repeat steps. Now pull yourself up again as in step 1 and repeat.

Pull-up alternative up

If your bar isn’t very long you may not be able to travel very far, 3 easy fixes:

  1. While hanging at the bottom, turn around when you’ve reached the end of the travel.
  2. Go in reverse.
  3. Keep alternating back and forth, but don’t let one arm do too much work holding your body weight up.

This great multijoint/compound movement can be done anywhere: parks, tree branches, and my favourite, on my patio support beams. Did you notice my weird pull-up bar in the photo, I placed a bar in my gymnastic ring straps, it’s a bit “swingy”.

3 thoughts on “Pull-Up Alternative 

Add yours

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Website Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: