Working out does wonders for you, but the cardinal rule of any workout is to maintain proper form during your exercise to ensure you don’t actually damage your health in the process. This video from Buff Dudes can help by addressing some common pull-up bad habits and how you can fix them.
Using your momentum
Many people “cheat” the pull up by using their momentum to pull up their bodies. The problem with this is that you might be able to get your chin above the bar, but you won’t actually be getting the benefits of the actual movement. Doing the pull up properly will increase the strength in your upper back, arms, and core. Using your momentum won’t really strengthen anything. In order to fix this, avoid swinging your legs and instead tense up your core.
Wrongly positioned elbows
Most people tend to keep their elbows too close together and facing forward, causing their biceps to work even harder during the pull up. What you actually want to be doing is thinking about forcing your elbows down and back, as if you were trying to “put your elbows in your back pockets.”
Shoulders are not “Down and Back”
As with the elbows, keep your shoulders back so that you target the proper muscles and also reduce your chances of pulling something unpleasant.
Not completing the full range of motion
If you want to reap the full benefits of this amazing exercise, you’re going to have to complete the full range of motions involved. A full range of motion begins from a dead hang all the way to having your chin go slightly above the bar.
A pull-up is a great showcase of overall strength, but it’s definitely not easy! If you’re still working on your first pull-up, work on small progressions. It helps to develop your grip strength from just lifting heavy dumbbells and barbells, back strength with rows, and biceps strength.