Pullups in Depth
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How to Pullup #32 – Common Faults 2

Let's continue on with three more common mistakes to watch out for. We'll cover some of the more controversial topics involving motivations, fatigue and kipping.

Common mistake 4 is the wrong motivation

If you or your students are trying to go faster, further, heavier for the sake of looking good or boosting ego, then you have to question what your true motivation is.

The whole point of training should be to become more functional in some way and have stronger attributes as a human being. If those goals and motivations are being replaced to look good, then something has to suffer... and that is most likely your form, quality and technique.

With the coach hat on, you should absolutely, 100% of the time correct this behaviour in your students. Plan the sessions so it would be hard to do anyway, but whenever it does, you need to enforce that quality of technique over anything else.

Common mistake 5 is Fatigue over technique

This is an extension of common mistake 4, but sometimes you may feel like that you could do more, even though you're fatigued and tired. Again, the thing that will go out of the window first is quality of technique and full-range-of-motion.

If you are doing strength training, by prioritising quality, the fatigue is ok because it will set in. But as soon as you start doing bad reps, just stop. Make sure you rest instead.

However, the caveat here is that if the goal IS to mimic a real-world situation where you are fatigued, then that's ok. Maybe you are trying to become more functional by understanding what it feels like to be fatigued or doing some muscular-endurance training. However, quality should always reign supreme.

Common mistake 6 is Circular Pullups

And here we go... probably the most controversial of mistakes since disciplines like CrossFit embrace it, but circular pullups and swinging is really not a good idea, particularly for strength training.

The idea is that in competition the winner is the person who does the most chins over the bar. Therefore, the faster you go and less energy you use to do it will give you more. Unfortunately, this is the ONLY scenario that this would be useful and quite honestly, bad for injury.

Any other situation where you need to use a pulling action would not allow you to do this type of circular movement. Try doing it where a wall is in front of you... Or when you have to get over the bar... or anytime you want to get stronger. It just won't work.

The other point is that you're trying to use as LITTLE strength as possible on each rep... Do you think that's going to make you stronger?

Note - Kipping and circular pullups are slightly different. A kip uses forward-backwards swinging, whereas the circular CrossFit type pull-up uses a circular motion to keep the momentum going constantly.

Bonus mistake 7 is using gloves

You don't need them. Unless you are a gymnast who is spending hours practising swinging on uneven bars, then fair enough.

By wearing gloves you are making the statement that you are unable to grit your teeth and hold onto a bar without protection. When that freak situation happens when you need to climb up and do a pull-up, you can't... no gloves... whoops.

Also, they just can't be trusted. They rip, they slip and are just not needed. Build up those calluses and thick skin. It'll make you more versatile not more reliant on other things.

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