STRICT & STRAIGHT
The Ultimate Weighted Pullup

By Dr. Joel Seedman, Ph.D.

OVERVIEW
HOLD KETTLEBELLS ON YOUR FEET TO IMPROVE YOUR PULLUP MECHANICS

When it comes to weighted pullups, many lifters use more weight than they should.  This produces degradation in technique, excessive momentum, and dysfunctional activation patterns.  By placing kettlebells on your feet you’ll be forced to perform weighted pullups with textbook mechanics, as the unique loading protocol promotes optimal body alignment.  In addition any cheating will result in the weights flying off your feet.

HOW TO DO IT

  1. Place a kettlebell on each foot by slipping your toes under the handle.  Dorsiflex your ankles by pulling the toes upward.  This will keep the kettlebells from slipping off your feet.
     
  2. Using the grip of your choice, squeeze a pull-up bar tightly and perform chin-ups or pull-ups in a strict and controlled fashion.
     
  3. Keep your chest tall with your shoulders pulled down and back. This maximizes lat activation and minimizes stress to the shoulder joint.
     
  4. To eliminate momentum, pause in the top position, lower your body slowly then pause in the bottom before repeating for the desired number of repetitions.

Quick Fact

Many individuals try to use excessive range of motion when performing pullups.  Rather than reaching with your chin, position your sternum and lower chest towards the bar.  In addition, focus on squeezing the back muscles rather than aiming for maximal height. 

Your natural stopping point should be several inches before your chest touches the bar.  Going higher than this will disrupt optimal shoulder mechanics and minimize innervation to the upper back.