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Technique Tip Tuesday: At Home Edition - Pull-Ups!

Has another lock-down got you down? Is your beloved aerial studio closed again? Are you stuck in your 2nd, 5th, or what feels like the 100th quarantine moment? Ugh, we feel ya! We're here to help you obtain your aerial goals, even if it has to be done from home in the meantime.

This week's Technique Tip is an at-home edition brought to you by Berlin-based Aerial Physique Master Trainer Christine Wunderlich. She's giving you a full breakdown of pull-ups and how to go from Zero to Hero!

Pull-ups fill many beginner aerialists with dread - ‘I can’t pull-up! This is impossible.’ (flashback to my exact words when I was a newbie aerialist!).

Christine and I are here to tell you that it IS possible to get your pull-ups, the key is to simply start and stay committed! What you'll need:

  • A securely installed pull-up bar. There are many different types, from fold-a-way versions to one installed permanently into supportive beams. Just make sure you are using your pull-up bar in the way instructed by the manufacturer.

  • A chair or stool

  • 1-2 pull-up assist bands. Don’t have one? Get a lift and some support from someone in your household.

How to start: The trick to pull-ups is patience and consistency. Keep repeating each step 3-4 times a week until it becomes simple. Then move on to the next step.

Step 1: Shoulder Shrugs From full hang, work on holding your grip for the time it takes to do 10 shoulder shrugs in a full hang. Your arms will remain straight (no pull-up yet). Allow your shoulder blades to slide full range of motion between full depression (shoulder blades pulling down) and full elevation (shoulder blades lifting up) . To start, use support by keeping some weight in your feet and then move to full hanging shoulder shrugs.

Goals: 1.1) 1 - 10 – 20x Shoulder Shrugs with feet supporting 1.2 ) 2-10 -20 Hanging Shoulder Shrugs

Step 2: Pull-up Holds and Eccentric Pull-up Negatives Use a chair to help you up to a full pull-up position. Keep you elbows tucked to your ribs to keep a strong compact position. Think about space between your ears and shoulders and wide collarbones (not Hunching and bunching up). Hold your pulled-up position for a few seconds then lower with control to eccentrically work those muscles. Step back up, using your chair. This eccentric movement will help strengthen your body.

Goals: 2.1) 5 Pull-up Holds & Eccentric Pull-up Negatives in a row 2.2) 2 sets of 5 in a row 2.3) 1 set of 10 in a row

Step 3: 2 Band - Assisted Pull-up It’s important to start your pull-up journey with extra assistance. This will allow you to build the correct form and gain strength and stamina. Use 2 large elastic workout bands to support your legs and lighten the load for your pull-up. It can be a bit tricky to hook both elastics, but once you are there it gives you a great assist.

Remember to keep your core engaged, don’t arch your back, and pull your elbows to your ribs every time you pull-up.

Goals: 3.1) 3-5 Assisted Pull-ups using 2 Bands 3.2) 2 Sets of 3-5 Pull-ups 3.3) 1 set of 10 Pull-ups

Step 4: 1 Band - Assisted Pull-ups Once those assisted pull-ups using 2 bands become easier, it’s time to give yourself the challenge of less assistance. Reduce your help to just 1 band but remember good form. You can always add a second band back on to help at the end of the set if you become fatigued.

Goals: 4.1) 3-5 Assisted - Pull-ups with 1 Band assist + 5 Pull-ups with 2 Band assist 4.2) 5-7 Pull-ups with 1 Band assisting + 3-5 Pull-ups with 2 Bands assisting 4.3) 2 Sets of 5 Pull-ups with 1 Band assisting 

Step 5: Full Pull-ups Time to rock those Full Pull-ups!! Make sure to power pose and breathe. You got this! Start small, and aim for small clean sets to begin. If you are unable to complete a set without assistance, add the Elastic band back in to help you finish your set.

Goals: 5.1) 2x Full Pull-ups without assistance 5.2)  2-3x Full Pull-ups without assistance + 3-5 Assisted Pull-ups 5.3) 2-3x Full Pull-up without assistance + 5-7 Assisted Pull-ups 5.4) 5x Full Pull-ups!!! Awesome Job! You did it!!

CONGRATULATIONS!! Time for a Celebratory Dance Party!! Well done!! Look how a little bit of effort every day can help you achieve your goals! Many things in life require patience, hard work and perseverance, but small steps can make the impossible become achievable and your efforts are well worth it! Awesome Job!

Once you have reached your initial goal, don’t stop, set a new goal and keep working towards the next step! You can do it! 

We'd be so delighted to see your pull-up progress! Tag us on the 'gram @wunder.aerialdance & @aerialphysique.


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1 Comment

Great pullup tutorial--thank you!

I LOVE Technique Tip Tuesdays and look forward to them each week!

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