I know of two other ways to build up to a full pull up, which are used in my CrossFit gym.
1. Use a giant elastic band to assist with the up portion of the movement. This is more advanced than option #2, but so much fun. the band should be looped around the pullup bar and extend to the level or your knee or so. Stretch the band and place one foot in the bottom end. Let your body hang from the bar, supported by the band. You're now ready to try an assisted pullup. If you have the band strength right, your muscles plus the pull of the elastic will allow you to do it exactly as if you had the strength to do it on your own.
2. Ring rows are an easier option. This also work for people with at-home bars for their doorway. Some gyms have rings hanging from the ceiling. They should be adjusted to about shoulder height. At home, attach a sheet, towel, or strapping to your pullup bar, or trap a knotted sheet above a closed door. Grasp the rings/sheet/towel/straps near the level of your armpits, lean back, and then pull up (using your back and shoulders only). Make it easier: step back. Make it harder: step forward.
Ring rows are also excellent training for progression to full pullup
I have one of those over the door frame bars, but I wasn't able to do a single pullup so I put it aside. I had never thought of the Negative technique. Thanks Jason. I"m going to start working on that tonight! Ü
I'm working on pull ups now as my next goal after losing 100 lbs in one year. I can get 1/2 up on my own after 2 months of my trainer using the "negative" technique as described in this article. We work out in my home. We initially began with a wide resistance band to give me momentum to get up and then did a very slow count down. I have now "graduated" to no band at all with the trainer helping me. I consider this a major opportunity of accomplishment and hope to give myself this as a Christmas present.
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