So ya want better pull ups? Ya wanna build a massive back and strong arms?
Then look to your legs my friend!
Yes, your legs. I know the pull up doesn’t do much with the legs, but that’s exactly why so many people neglect them and let them ruin their pull up technique.
Think of a fish at the end of a line. As the fish flips and flops that energy is transferred up the line and into the pole until it reaches the fisherman.
Your legs can influence the position and technique of your upper body in exactly the same way.
If you use them with purpose and intent they can greatly enhance your pull ups. If you just let them kick and twitch around they can ruin your efforts.
The first thing to consider is to fold them up in back of you by flexing at the knees.
This will help you keep your posterior chain involved and maintain a slight arch in your upper back allowing more muscular activation in your upper back.
If your legs shoot forward there will be a tendency to curve your spine and round your back forward. This will greatly reduce the amount of work your back can do and call upon the arms to do more of the work load.
Both techniques have their place, but above all, a strong pull up is one that has the legs locked into place and not twitching around.
There are some exceptions to the rule. Kipping with the lower body or cycling are legit reasons to move the legs during pull ups. However I’m not very well versed in either technique so I’ll leave those topics for another time.
For now though pick a position for the legs, lock ‘me in place and rock on.