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How to: One Arm Pull Up

It might sound ridiculous that someone can do  sets of one arm pull ups when they start doing pull ups for the first time. The main reason being that most people cannot even complete one full rep with both arms. The truth is that this is one of the extremely advanced techniques that is used to gain upper body strength.

The one arm pull up/chin up is an exercise that is not for chumps, as this is without a doubt something that only very few people can even  do correctly. Before you start you need to be able to do regular pull ups with an over hand grip as well as a supinated grip.

Do yourself a favor and don’t try to do a one arm pull up when you are just starting to train. This feat can kill your confidence and will almost seem impossible, but it is a goal that you can set for yourself. Just like all weight training relies on the proven truth of progressive resistance, you will soon be able to do one arm pull ups if you train for it.

It Is Really Hard to Do a One Arm Pull Up

Research done on this subject shows that this technique is so advanced that only one in every 100,000 weight-trainers will get to the point of being able to do sets and reps with the awe-inspiring one arm pull up. If you are prepared to put in the hard work, just like anything in life, you will soon see the rewards.

Here are our steps that you should follow to build the strength that will enable you to perform the one arm pull up. This may sound confusing, but we promise it makes sense. It is very methodical considering the odd body placement of the one arm pull up. We want you to build strength, but we also want to protect your body and your joints – in this case, having a belt or strap is key.

  1. The first thing that you have to start off with is doing full stretch, full hanging pull ups with both hands. Before you even start doing one arm pull ups you should be able to do 20 reps of normal chin ups. This is the starting point which can take a few months to reach if you spend some time on it and make sure that you develop the pull up technique doing full range of movement.
  2. The next step is using a training belt or a rope with knots in every 6 inches and hangs from your chinning bar.
  3. You then hold the grip on the bar with one hand and hold the rope or belt hanging from the bar with the other hand. Then doing no more than 5 chins with only half an inch from full extension using your one hand on the rope and the one hand solidly placed on the chinning bar.
  4. You advance by simply lowering your hand on the belt or rope so that you are using less and less of your hand on the rope to lift your bodyweight. The lower your hand goes on the rope/belt the less muscle you will be using to raise yourself to the chinning bar.
  5. The next step is negatives which you start off doing by starting with a normal chin using both hands to lift yourself up to where your arms are 90 degrees, then release one hand and hang. If possible try and raise yourself up at first, but this will not be happening when you first start.
  6. From there you will then be lowering yourself and trying to stop or slow down the negative as your arm straightens out. An effective way of doing negatives is by making three points at which you try to stop moving with the last point being just before full extension.
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