Inverted Pull Up Unlike a traditional Vertical Pull Up, Inverted Pull Up is a Horizontal Pulling Exercise that counts toward the Pull/Push ratio to build shoulder stability.
Note: The best grip for shoulder elbow, and wrist health, and the only grip I use with overhead athletes, is a neutral grip—palms facing. The overhand and/or underhand grip may be appropriate for non-overhead athletes with good shoulder mobility and without existing shoulder pain or injuries.
- Position a bar in a rack to about waist height.
- Take a shoulder width—or slightly wider than shoulder width—grip and position yourself underneath the bar so that the bar is directly above your chest. Extend your legs and place your heels on the floor. In order to decrease difficulty, bend your knees and place the soles of your feet on the ground (as shown above).
- Begin with arms extended while still keeping tension. Avoid a dead hang—losing all tension and allowing shoulders to shrug forward. The dead hang places strain on your biceps tendons and rotator cuffs.
- Engage muscles around mid-section (as if expecting a punch to the gut). When Inverted Pull Ups are done improperly, the ribcage flares upward and the back hyperextends, which indicates a lack of core recruitment and increases risk of back injury. In a proper Inverted Pull Up, the spine remains neutral from neck to tailbone.
- With core engaged, pull yourself straight up toward the bar until elbows are even with or slightly in front of your torso. Think about pulling through with your elbows as your shoulder blades move toward one another. Avoid rounded back, shoulders forward, or elbows finishing behind the torso, all of which hinder scapular movement and increase risks for shoulder injury and dysfunction. Also avoid reaching your chin forward at the top of an Inverted Pull Up; The forward head position leads to neck pain and muscle imbalance.
- Under control, lower yourself to starting position—arms extended while still keeping tension— allowing shoulder blades to protract (wrap around your rib cage).