CrossFit Santa Cruz’s Laurie Galassi, a gymnast and the fifth-place finisher at the 2011 NorCal Regional, shares her coaching tips for mastering the pull-up. In Part 1 of the series, she focuses on body shape.
A fast, efficient pull-up has three key ingredients, she says: the hollow-body position, the appropriate grip on the bar and the right timing.
“This arch is an opening of the shoulders. It has very little to do with your lower back,” Galassi explains. “If your ribs come out, it means that your butt’s not turned on.”
Tension in the entire body and keeping it locked in one piece is the first part of the lesson.
“It is how fast can you get from one shape to the other—that’s what’s going to make you pull,” she says. “Any delay, any bent piece of your body, you’ll completely stop moving. And at that point, the pull-up’s over.”
She adds: “Going from the tight arch to a hollow is the pull-up.”
Next, she talks grip, as well as the timing of the pull.
“Think about coming to a really distinct end shape: your feet are in front of you. Open up those shoulders!”
Additional reading: Above the Bar: A Weekend Pull-Up Summit by Lisa Ilka Abrams, published Dec. 8, 2011.