Adding variation to my pull up routines is important to me. I mostly train for maximum strength and explosiveness and therefore don’t believe in doing any high rep sets of pull ups. Therefore I often try to add additional challenges to standard pull ups to make sets of 5-8 sufficiently challenging.
The L Seat Pull Up
The L Seat is a basic static hold position from the rings and parallel bars in gymnastics. When added to the standard pull up it ads an extra abdominal workout and changes the weight angle on the back, lats and arms. Before attempting the pull up in L Seat it’s a good idea to practice the position on a dip bar with your arms at your side. Once you can hold the position for 10 seconds easily, then you are read to try the pull up version.
In my experience the hardest part of this exercise is breaking the hang at the bottom.
Here is a 5 rep set of L Seat Pull Ups:
Rope Grip Pull Up
Another challenging variation of the pull up is the rope grip pull up. I typically try this with a well worn double rope from the tricept pressdown machine draped over the neutral grip bars that are standard on most modern pull up setups at gyms. There are a number of other ways to accomplish this setup if you don’t have the right equipment. Also, if you don’t have access to a thick rope, or if you want a bigger challenge try using a towel instead.
Rope grip or any modified grip pull up adds extra challenge to the hands and forearms.
Here is a video of me doing 5 rope grip pull ups:
Putting it Together – The Rope Grip L Seat Pull Up
Put these two pull up variations together for a hardcore pull up workout. Try doing four sets of eight for a great arm, lat, upper back, and core workout.
Here is my best 5 rep set: