Fall Pull Up Challenge: Week 4

We’ve made it to the last week of the 12 Minute Athlete Fall Pull Up Challenge!

If you haven’t started yet or haven’t seen our announcement post for the challenge, be sure to go back and read it here, and make sure to check out Week 1, Week 2, and Week 3 of the challenge. This challenge is mostly meant for absolute beginners who can’t do pull ups yet—if you can already do a few and have plateaued or need ideas on how to keep progressing, you’ll find our pull up course helpful.

During the next four weeks, we’ll be focusing specifically on upper body and core strength. Both are crucial for getting your first pull up or chin up.

Work hard and have fun!

During week four, we’re going to work on activating the shoulder blades and continuing to build strength.

Week Four Workout

Complete 3-4 rounds:

  • 10-20 hanging shoulder shrugs
  • Flex hold to slow negative pull up or chin up
  • 10-15 Reverse push ups
  • 10-15 push ups
  • Hollow body hold for time

Advanced option: If you can already do one or more pull ups, you can add in some pull ups before each round as well, so your workout will look like this:

Complete 3-4 rounds:

  • Max pull ups or chin ups
  • 10-20 hanging shoulder shrugs
  • Flex hold to slow negative pull up or chin up
  • 10-15 Reverse push ups
  • 10-15 push ups
  • Hollow body hold for time

Try and do this workout three times during the week, making sure to take at least one rest day in between workouts. If you’re doing the advanced option, make sure to write down how many pull ups you’re able to do each round to keep track of your progress.

Make sure to tag all your photos #12MApullups and @12minuteathlete on Instagram and social media for a chance to win a medium + robust or a heavy + robust Rubberbanditz band combo (your choice!) at the end of the challenge!

Exercise Instructions

Hanging Shoulder Shrugs

Without learning to activate your shoulder blades, you can’t really do pull ups or chin ups. Here are a couple of ways to do it. Practice them all if you can.

  • Hang from a pull up bar, keeping the body tight. When using the chin up grip, keep your hands close together. When using the pull up grip, keep your hands as wide as your shoulders.
  • Pull your shoulder blades back and down. Don’t aim for the arm pull, simply work on activating the shoulder blades.

Flex Hangs + Slow Negatives

  • Jump or step up to a pull up bar, gripping the bar with an overhand or underhand grip (overhand will be harder)
  • Hold onto the bar at the top position, making sure your shoulders are pulled back and down and your core is tight
  • After 5-10 seconds, slowly lower down with control

Reverse Push Ups

  • Find a dip bar, parallel bars or a barbell on the barbell rack. When using a barbell rack, make sure you’re holding the bar from the inside of the rack so that the barbell won’t come off the hooks!
  • Go under the bar, so that your back is toward the floor and you’re facing the bar
  • Grab ahold of the bar, then squeeze your body and pull your chest up as high as you can
  • If you don’t have a bar, grab onto the underside of a table or chair and do the same movement.
  • The lower the bar, the more strength you’ll need!

Push Ups

  • Get into a plank position with your shoulders straight over your hands or just slightly wider
  • Your hips, legs and feet should be in a straight line and your eyes should be pointing downward
  • Push up through your shoulders, then squeeze your core, butt and leg muscles so that you’re not sagging
  • As you lower down, keep your elbows close to our body and. Keep your body as tight as possible and always maintain the strong plank position
  • From the lowest point, push back up.

To make push ups easier, you can place your hands on something higher like a bench or box.

Hollow Body Hold

  • Lie down flat on your back and contract your abs, pulling your belly button towards the floor. Your arms and legs should be held straight out from the body with hands and toes pointed
  • Lift your arms and legs
  • Focus on making sure your lower back is touching the floor as you hold this position

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