As a personal trainer and fitness instructor there was one motion that had taunted me for years: The pull up. A while back, I was capable of swinging a 60-pound kettlebell, pressing 25-pound dumbbells overhead, running, sprinting and executing deep pushups. But I still couldn't do a pull up.
Here's one major thing I learned: You shouldn't use an assisted band or machines. In all of my years of training individuals, professional athletes and celebrities, I have never seen a person graduate from a band or an assisted pull-up machine to an actual pull up or chin up.
You have to learn to let go and push yourself (correctly) to do the motion on your own. Here's how it works: You need to use positive strength to contract your muscles, static strength to hold yourself up and negative strength to extend the muscle, or lower your body from the bar with complete muscle control. You need to build these individual strengths in unison to build up your pullup strength. Follow these steps to strengthen your muscles so you can finally do a pull up:
Photo courtesy of the author