How to Start Doing Lateral Pull-Ups

Use the outside of the monkey bars for one type of lateral pull-up.

Use the outside of the monkey bars for one type of lateral pull-up.

If you already have the upper-body strength of Superwoman or She-Ra, you're probably already able to crank out a set of pull-ups with little effort. For you superhuman females, another way to get even greater strength is to try lateral pull-ups. Since lateral means "side," lateral pull-ups can include various types of pull-ups with a side movement or use of one side of the body. Go for it, Superwoman.

Master the ability to do eight to 10 regular pull-ups. Start out doing one or two pull-ups, working to add another repetition to your repertoire every two weeks until you're up to a full 10 pull-ups. Doing pull-ups will help you build strength and so will doing weighted push-ups, lat pull-downs and other exercises that work the shoulders, back and core muscles.

Perform the lateral-leg pull-up by placing your hands in a grip slightly wider than shoulder-width apart on the pull-up bar, in an overhand grip. As you pull your body upward to get your chin near the bar, raise your legs upward in front of you to a parallel position with the floor. Keep your legs together throughout the motion and attempt to raise your body and lower it to starting with your legs in the up position. Do a second repetition with your legs in that up position, and then lower your feet to the ground on the "down" portion of the second pull-up. When you can do two successfully, try three in a row, and then four, and then five.

Find a jungle gym to try out another type of lateral pull-up. Stand on the outside of the bars facing one side of the long rail that holds all the short bars together -- short bars meaning the ones you usually grip as you swing from bar to bar. The length of the rail should be to your left. Place your hands on the outer rail, lift your feet and hang. Pull yourself up into a regular pull-up and then lower your body back down. When you are in the lowest hanging position, walk your left hand a couple feet to the left, followed by your right hand, essentially performing a "lateral" move like you might do while rock climbing. Immediately after moving your hands to the left, do another pull-up. At the bottom of the pull-up, walk your hands to the left again, working your way down the length of the bar. Once you're at the other end, repeat the exercise moving right.

 

About the Author

Nicole Vulcan has been a journalist since 1997, covering parenting and fitness for The Oregonian, careers for CareerAddict, and travel, gardening and fitness for Black Hills Woman and other publications. Vulcan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from the University of Minnesota. She's also a lifelong athlete and is pursuing certification as a personal trainer.

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