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Pull-Ups are a great exercise to test relative body strength; not only do you have to be strong, you have to be strong and lean. Whether you are looking to do your first Pull-Up or do several Pull-Ups, here are three great exercises to help you improve your upper-body strength.
1. Isometric Holds
This pull-up variation allows an athlete to get strong at the top position of the exercises, which is generally the weakest portion of the exercise. Using a box, the athlete will jump and hold their chin above the bar for 3-5 seconds before lowering down and repeating the exercise. Aim to do 5-10 perfect reps.
2. Eccentric Pull-Ups
This is another great variation of the Pull-Up. Because a muscle is stronger contracting eccentrically, an athlete is able to lower much more weight than they could pull up. This allows the athlete to go through full range of motion, without actually being forced to pull their body up to the bar.
3. Cluster Sets
A cluster set breaks a normal straight set into more manageable pieces. Using this method an athlete is able to do more quality reps in each set. First test to see how many Pull-Ups you can do, without resting. Next, take this number and divide it by 3 (ex. 6 reps will become 2 reps)—this is how many reps you will do in each cluster. After completing a cluster, rest 15-20 seconds before starting a new cluster. Continue with this process until you cannot complete all reps within the cluster.
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