“All I want is one solid freaking pull-up!” I yelled to one of my trainer colleagues while dangling from a bar nearly five years ago. I just wanted one, not even ten, and there I would hang staring up at the bar, not moving. Luckily for me, my co-trainer—a retired Marine and an amazing coach—took me on as a “30 days to one perfect pull-up” client.
Yes, I was able to get there, but not without a lot of work and focus on specific movements that I practiced over and over. Activating the back of the body (which is crucial for pull-ups and not the natural area people think to focus on) is difficult for a lot of people because they can’t see it. Think about the muscles you’re using—especially the lats (the big “wings” on your back). Very few people can just hop on the bar and go straight into a pull-up; but you can work on these movements and progress to get there. Be patient, focus on activating the right muscles, and really feel them to create correct muscle memory. Then practice more!