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Master Your Pull-ups & Chin-Ups with Chaos

Master Your Pull-Ups and Chin-Ups with Chaos

Dr. Joel Seedman, Ph.D.


While there are a number of unique methods I periodically employ to help clean up pullup form and mechanics I’ve recently found that the chaos pullup is quite effective for enhancing pullup and chin-up technique.  The set up for the pull ups is similar to the chaos pushup where the athlete performs pushups off of bands anchored to the pins of a squat rack.  In this video I demonstrate the pronated grip (using several bands to help support a heavier bodyweight) while my awesome client Leslie Petch performs the underhand or chin-up variation. 

Besides being brutally intense there are 7 reasons why chaos pullups and chin-ups are so effective.

1. The kipping pullup is perhaps the single worst exercise creation in the modern day fitness industry.  Besides leading to a number of muscular dysfunctions and movement aberrations throughout the kinetic chain, it does little if anything to build functional strength and muscularity.  Attempting to perform even the slightest kipping maneuver while doing the chaos pullup will cause the body to bounce around in an uncontrollable fashion.  As a result, the chaos pullup helps eliminate the dysfunctional and aberrant kipping syndrome that’s plagued the fitness industry for the last decade.

2. The chaos pullup does wonders for eliminating the all-too-common over-pulling syndrome.  Many lifters feel compelled get their chin over the bar when performing pullups.  This produces a number of dysfunctional mechanics not to mention shoulder issues and postural misalignment. The chaos pullup teaches the lifter to terminate the top end range of motion slightly above chin level which happens to be the optimal range of motion for both pullups and chin-ups.  Any amount of excessive over-pulling and trying to reach the chin over the bar will cause the lifter and the bands to bounce and shift.

3. Oscillating kinetic energy such as that produced from the hanging band technique as well as perturbation training is incredibly effective for improving proprioception and kinesthetic awareness. That’s because it wakes up muscle spindles ultimately providing a greater sense of feel and enhanced body positioning.  The chaos pullup is one of the most effective ways to incorporate this form of oscillating kinetic energy into vertical pulling movements. 

However, if you do have a partner, employing the perturbation method to either the chaos band method or trap bar pullup is very effective as well.

4. Excessive momentum and jerky movements are both common problems lifters experience when performing pullups.  Learning how to eliminate momentum and perform perfectly rigid and strict pullups is something that will do wonders not only for enhancing your vertical pulling mechanics but also for blasting your upper back and lats.  In fact, the lifter will be almost required to use eccentric isometrics during their pullups to maintain control. As a result, the chaos pullup is an exceptional functional hypertrophy builder for the upper back and lats as well as the arms due to the high levels of mechanical tension and metabolic stress produced from the ultra strict form

5.  Besides acting as a powerful stimulus for inducing functional strength and hypertrophy in the upper torso, the chaos pullup can do wonders for cleaning up shoulder issues and postural misalignment.  That’s because it promotes proper shoulder packing and centration of the glenohumeral joint not to mention rock solid postural alignment.

6. Learning to keep the core tight and maintain a neutral pelvic position is important for any movement including pullups.  If the lifter attempts to pull their pelvis into either excessive anterior or posterior pelvic tilt and moves out of neutral position, the misalignment will cause their entire body to bounce thereby providing immediate feedback.  To keep the band and body locked in, the core will be required to stay aggressively activated throughout. 

7. Whether you want to admit it or not, the muscle mind connection is real.  Unfortunately many lifters struggle to feel their lats and upper back working when performing pullups typically as a result of faulty mechanics and excessive momentum.  Fortunately the chaos pullup and chin-up is one of the most effective vertical pulling variations you’ll ever use to help establish a strong muscle mind connection throughout the lats and upper back.  

If you’re looking for a training program that teaches you how to implement unique pull-up and chin-up variations into your routine check out my Complete Templates