How To Improve Strength, Power And Cardio With Jumping Pull-Ups
Pull-ups are without a doubt one of, if not the toughest bodyweight exercise out there. Being able to pull your entire body weight up to a bar is a true test of strength and control over your body.
Those that have never attempted a pull-up may assume it’s an easy movement. After all, it really doesn’t look that hard. However, those individuals are always surprised and humbled when it comes down to trying the exercise for themselves.
Very few people are able to go to the gym as a beginner and perform a set of pull-ups. In fact, many people can’t complete a single rep.
How To Do Jumping Pull-ups
In execution, jumping pull-ups are relatively simple. The main concerns you have are timing the jump with the pull and lowering without dropping too fast.
Here is the step-by-step guide:
- Stand beneath a pull-up bar and fully extend your arms over your head. The bar should be in line with the middle of your forearms. You may have to stand on a box to get to the correct height.
- Grip the bar with an overhand grip that’s just outside of shoulder width.
- Bend your knees and dip down until your arms are fully extended.
- Reverse the movement and jump straight up as you extend your legs. When you begin to jump, start to pull with your arms at the same time.
- Pull yourself up until your chin clears the bar. If you can get your chest to the bar then aim for that.
- Engage your back and arm muscles so that you are able to lower yourself back to the start under as much control as possible.
- Land softly by absorbing the landing with bent knees and repeat the movement.
Benefits Of Jumping Pull-ups
Jumping pull-ups have a few benefits. One huge benefit of them is they can be a great tool for building the strength to enable you to do full pull-ups. Jumping pull-ups are a great way to overcome the hardest part of the movement, which is at the bottom. You will still be using and strengthening the muscle involved in standard pull-ups but you will be removing some of the load from them.
Jumping pull-ups also let you take advantage of eccentric or “negative” training, which has been a staple method of beginner pull-up training for many years. Eccentric training requires you to perform the lowering phase of an exercise under as much control as you can manage.
During this eccentric phase of a movement, the same muscles that perform the lifting phase are still being worked. The theory is that the strength and control you build in those muscles during eccentric training will transfer to the full movement.
So, with jumping pull-ups, you get to complete the lifting part of a pull-up under a reduced load. You then get to use eccentric training to strengthen your “pull-up muscles”.
All in all, jumping pull-ups are an excellent way to learn or improve your pull-up numbers. It is important to note that, at some stage, you will have to practice the entire movement without the jump as well.
Are Jumping Pull-ups For Beginners Only?
After reading the section above, you could be forgiven for thinking jumping pull-ups aren’t relevant for a more advanced trainee. That isn’t the case; jumping pull-ups can be utilized in anybody’s training and they are actually fairly popular in CrossFit style workouts.
The reason is the jump turns a pull-up, which is very much an upper body exercise, into a full body movement that challenges your cardiovascular system as well.
The jumping portion of the exercise targets your leg muscles very hard. Especially if you are performing the jump as explosively as you can, which you should be doing.
When you perform a movement with maximum power and explosiveness, your body recruits a high number of muscles fibres within that muscle. Therefore, the jump will actually stimulate quite a large amount of lower body muscle.
As a result of the larger muscle recruitment, explosive exercises like jumps are a sure-fire way to get your cardio system working hard. Once you add the pull-up after the jump, it won’t take many reps before your heart is racing and your lungs are burning.
This ability to mix explosive, full body and cardiovascular training into a single exercise means the jumping pull-up can be tailored to suit any fitness level.
Final Thoughts On Jumping Pull-ups
If you are a beginner or somebody that struggles to perform full pull-ups, I feel that using jumping pull-ups to take advantage of eccentric training is a must for you. Pull-ups are one of the most effective upper body-building exercises you can do so learning how to do them will really elevate your training.
Begin slow with them, take a break in between reps and slowly build up over time. As mentioned earlier, you should aim to build the bottom part of the exercise, without jumping, once you have gained enough strength to do so.
For the more advanced gym-goer, jumping pull-ups could be an awesome way to present your body with a new stimulus and challenge. There aren’t too many exercises where you get to combine lower body power with upper body strength and cardio all in one go.
Unlike a beginner, more experienced individuals would be better served by stringing together a number of fast, powerful reps. I definitely urge you to try jumping pull-ups out in your next workout, whether you are using them to build up to full pull-ups or as a new challenge in your workouts.
I really hope you found this guide useful and it has convinced you to experiment with jumping pull-ups for yourself. Make sure you let me know what you think in the comments section below!