- Pull-ups are an incredible useful tool for us as humans to have. When you consider the applications, often times people do not see the real world transfer. They say, “I don’t climb trees, or generally have to get my chin above any kind of bar. So how is this important to me?”
- Consider the sporting world, and particularly movements that involve throwing. Volley ball spikes, baseball pitching movements, etc. They all mimic the shoulder movement of the kipping pull-up. And not only that, the opening and closing of the hip during the kipping pull-up also closely resembles that of our Olympic lifts, clean and snatch. And don’t forget muscle-ups, KBS, ball slams, overhead positions with bars, and all those other movements we do on a daily basis inside the gym. Getting your pull-ups down will translate into a whole bunch of other areas.
- So, now let’s consider the mobility. Remember when you started to learn this skill and your shoulders, elbows, and low back hurt. Well, there you go. Lack of mobility in any of those areas can lead to inefficient movement patterns, not only in the pull-up, but in all those other areas I mentioned above as well. Having flexibility in the areas surrounding the pull-up will have a HUGE impact on your CrossFit experience as a whole.
- So let’s get after it!
- Foam Roll Lats
- Make sure the palm of your had is facing the ceiling. Roll all the way up into your tricep area and down towards the bottom of your ribs. Spend at least 1-2 minutes on each side.
2. Lacrosse Ball Lats – laterally
- Similar to the foam roller, but this time, you will go front to back. Make sure the palm of your hand is faced AWAY from the wall and then rotate your body back and forth so that the ball moves towards your chest and then towards your back. 1-2 minutes each side.
3. Band Assisted Pec Stretch
- For this drill, you want to make sure the palm of your hand is facing upward. You will pull the band to create enough tension to stretch your pecs and then turn your head to the opposite side. Tuck your chin in towards your throat to maintain a neutral neck position and assist with the stretch. Hold for 2 minutes each side.
- You can also try and bend your wrist back a little bit, knuckles toward the floor (if the band allows) to access a little bit of your bicep muscle.
4. Subscapularis Stretch
- Hold the PVC in the position shown in the picture. The goal here is to create external rotation by lifting your elbow up toward the ceiling with the bottom of the PVC. The subscapularis is a very strong rotator cuff muscle that does internal rotation. If it is tight, and it is…. getting your shoulders open for a good stable overhead or pull-up position may be compromised. If you find severe tightness here, I highly recommend getting in to see Amber for a massage. She can access this muscle in ways you cannot and it will make a huge difference! Hold for 1-2 minute each side.