What would our last week of the Exercise at the Playground series be without my most/least favorite exercise (okay, it’s more on the least favorite side)?
You might have heard me say that it took me four months to be able to do one full pull-up. It was one of the most glorious moments in my life. The flexed arm hang test and I have a history, so it felt pretty good to get my chin above that bar without jumping or using a chair. In your face, flexed arm hang!
How did I become strong enough to do a pull-up? Core exercises, lat pull downs, and lots of these negative pull ups. Ready? Find the nearest playground in your neighborhood and let’s hop to it.
Negative (AKA “eccentric”) pull-ups
Keep in mind, this is not your personal exercise prescription. I am not your personal trainer (unless you’re one of my clients). Please consult with your physician, physical therapist, or fitness professional before trying any of the exercises listed on this site.
To begin, find a bar that you can easily get your chin above after a little hop.
Placing hands firmly around the bar, start to bend those knees to prep for your jump. Arms, legs, and abs will work to propel your body off of the ground. Hold on tight!
Before you drop back down, hold your horses. Are your abs tight? They’ll help you move with more control. Imagine pulling those elbows down and away from the bar.
Lower your body down as slow as you can in order to work those muscles eccentrically. Individuals new to this exercise may drop down relatively quickly; but over time it might get better (as the lats and other core muscles get stronger).
Land with soft knees, and get ready to do it again!
I’m chuckling because, after seeing these posts, one of our roommates asked me who took these photos. He almost thought I asked a random child on the playground to take these pictures for me. Nope – when your sister is in town, you put her to work .
Looking for more exercises you can do at the playground? Check out these posts:
- Back in the day, did you rock the flexed arm hang our pull-up test?
- What’s your most-least-favorite exercise?
- Do you live with roommates?
- I need some new ideas: what’s for dinner tonight?