I hope everyone is having a great week! Happy Hump Day!
Today I'm ridiculously sore. I think every single muscle in my entire body was worked in my workout yesterday. Yesterday was my LAST training session with my Personal Trainer at Optimal Body Fitness (WWAHHHHHHH) and I was pushed to my limit for sure! I will talk more about my experience in a couple of days, but today I wanted to write about something I found probably most physically challenging during my 3 months at OBF. Negative Pull Ups.
The reason that this exercise sticks out to me most is because I consistently always ALWAYS was the most sore after doing these bad boys. They are a way to work on progressing to accomplishing an actual pull-up without having to use the "assisted pull up" machine at the gym. Each set I would do would be 6 reps. I vividly remember doing it for the very first time and I could barely get out 4 in my first set (4 sets), and by the end I could only do 1 or 2 in a set. Last night I "completed" all 6 reps in each set. By completed, I mean Deanna helped me with my legs so I could lower myself down slowly, but I didn't just crash and burn which is a huge accomplishment.
So what exactly is a negative pull-up? I searched Google images and found the perfect photo to explain:
So basically you jump from a bench or a box until the "start" position and you slowly lower yourself down into the "end" position, I did it on a count of 4. Then you set your feet back on the bench/box and jump right back up again, six times.
Literally after 1 set of these I could feel the muscles in my ribs already fatiguing. If you're not used to doing pull-ups, this exercise in brutally amazing. There was 1 point in my life where I successfully did 1 pull-up, and I'm hoping if I keep doing negatives I will be able to get it back soon. So why negatives?? Why not just use the assisted pull up machine that you see at the gym? I did some research...
1. You learn proper form to perform a full pull-up. Once you can do a 30 second negative pull-up, you should be able to perform 1 full pull-up. (Holy eff, 30 seconds is a LONG time)
2. You will get greater strength increases. The goal of a negative is to move as slowly as possible, rather than just letting your body drop down, this is called eccentric training. Eccentric training causes greater muscle tissue breakdown which leads to faster increases in muscle strength and size... says Dr. Len Kravitz (Whom I know personally from my years working at canfitpro.. he is AMAZING).
3. Core activation! Negative pull-ups mainly focus on upper body, but it also works your core. As you lower yourself slowly, your abs kick in to minimize leg swing, and stop your lower back from arching and giving you a kick ass core workout as well. I can vouch for this.. my abs are SORE.
This is one exercise I will 100% continue doing because I so want to be able to do pull-ups. I really hope they start getting easier soon....
Have you ever done a negative pull-up? Can you do a full pull-up??