Even though the basic methodology in performing pull ups properly is not very difficult, you will be amazed at how many people make the same, silly and serious mistakes all the time while trying to pull up. They don’t have to be difficult to do, but they do have to be performed correctly.
Below we have put together our guide to the 5 most common mistakes people make when doing pull ups – avoid doing these at all costs.
Not Completing A Full Range Of Movement
This is by far the most common mistake people make all the time and for gym instructors and other professionals it can be quite hilarious to hear that someone claims to be able to do 30 or more pull ups, when you really known they are only doing half a pull up at a time because they are rushing themselves too much.
A proper, full pull up begins with your arms stretched out straight before pushing yourself up enough that your chin touches the bar or rests above it, before lowering yourself down until you are in the starting position again. If you are doing a pull up and think you only have to lower yourself down halfway or switch each time you pull up to have your chin below and above the bar, you are doing it wrong and need to correct these mistakes.
As pull ups have been formulated to work out your back muscles, if you only complete half a pull up then you are only using your arms and are not working your lats. Although this might benefit your arms in the short term, if you started doing pull ups to work your back, it won’t actually help you to do them this way.
Allowing Your Elbows To Flare Out To The Side
Another common mistake people do is that they allow their elbows to flare out to the side while completing “pull ups” which is also not very helpful for building up your lats. As well as hindering your ability to complete the exercise properly, letting your elbows flare to the sides could create problems for you as your elbows may start to become swollen and inflamed as a result of the unnecessary pressure you are placing on them.
Getting The Start Position Wrong
When you are hanging from a bar, you can feel your body move when you just tense and relax your lats and shoulder muscles. Although this is simple, you need to ensure that every single time you do a pull up, you tense your lats and shoulder muscles to avoid injuring yourself.
Your body should remain as straight as possible, at every stage of a properly executed pull up. While it is true that there will come times when you want to move around the bar or twist, when you are doing a traditional, basic pull up though – you need to keep your body in a straight line.
Kicking Your Legs
Kicking your legs is a common mistake to make when you get tired and are trying to complete that last pull up, in a vain attempt to make it easier. Not only will you benefit properly from a pull up if you kick out, but you could cause yourself an injury, such as dislocating joints or pulling muscles.