- Target Muscle Group
- Exercise TypeStrength
- Equipment RequiredBodyweight
- Force TypePull (Bilateral)
- Experience LevelIntermediate
- Secondary Muscles
Abs, Biceps, Shoulders, Upper Back
Single Pause Pull Up Overview
The single pause pull up is a variation of the traditional pull up that incorparetes an intensity technique known as pause rep.
Pause reps, as seen in the single pause pull up, are great for extending the time under tension of the working muscles. It is also an alternative way to progress the pull up without adding weight to the exercise.
Single Pause Pull Up Instructions
- Using a pronated grip, grasp the pull up bar with a slightly wider than shoulder width grip.
- Take a deep breath, squeeze your glutes and brace your abs. Depress the shoulder blades and then drive the elbows straight down to the floor while activating the lats.
- Pull your chin towards the bar until the lats are fully contracted, pause, then slowly lower yourself back to the start position and repeat for the assigned number of repetitions.
Single Pause Pull Up Tips
- To decrease bicep involvement, use a false (thumbless grip).
- Try to keep a neutral head position (looking straight ahead or slightly up) as hyperextending the neck can lead to compensations throughout the spine.
- If the bar is high enough, keep the legs straight and in front of the body in a hollow body position.
- Avoid falling into overextension of the lumbar spine by squeezing your glutes and bracing your abs.
- The pullup is completed when the lats are fully flexed, don’t continue pulling and compensate with the pecs. When this occurs, the elbows will flare up behind the body, the shoulder will round forward, and you’ll begin to feel pressure in the front of your shoulders.
- A lifter’s segment length will determine whether or not they can actually get their chin over the bar, it’s not an absolute for everyone.
- Lower to almost full extension of the elbow but avoid locking out completely as this can place excessive strain on the ligamentous structures within the elbow and shoulder.
- If you can’t complete a single bodyweight pull up, start with slow negatives (add weight when these can be accomplished under control) or flexed arm hangs in the top position.
- Ditch the straps and kips, neither one is necessary or recommended.