Saturday, July 4, 2015

Squat-assisted pullup

As a middle-aged man in the last decade of my middle-aged man life, I've come to realize and accept there are things I can still do today that one day I can't or won't do.  

I'll also acknowledge that, now, there are things I used to do that I can or will no longer do.  It's all part of the deal that comes with my gracefully aging journey and I'm at peace with this reality.

For many middle-aged men, doing a dead-hang pullup or a bodyweight squat - either a single or multiple reps - is something beyond their current abilities.  If that's you, then what I'm sharing here is also for you. Fortunately, I'm not one of those middle-aged men yet and am still able to bang out dead-hang pullups and full-range bodyweight squats for decent reps counts.  

But my day may be coming.

The following video is a demo performed by a 60-year young "fitness model" of 25 reps of squat-assisted pullups done with a perceived squat assistance of 85 to 90 percent.  In other words, this pullup is perceived as only taking 10 to 15 percent of what would be required to perform a regular dead-hang pullup with no squat assistance.

The squat-assistance can be tailored to your needs and fitness goals and change during the course of a workout.  Conversely, you can adjust the amount of pullup assistance to make the bodyweight squat easier or more challenging.  I do encourage you to concentrate on squat depth to get the most out of the squatting part of this exercise.  An added benefit of doing so is to get a full hang from the bottom position of the pullup. That'll give your upper body and lower back a nice feel-good stretch that you're bound to enjoy.

Here are some training suggestions on how to incorporate this squat-assisted pullup into your workouts:

  • Complete 25 to 50 reps as a warmup at the beginning of your workout.
  • Complete as many reps as possible in 10 to 20 minutes or longer.
  • Complete 10 to 25 reps as one of three to five exercises in a circuit training workout.

The possibilities are endless and limited only to your imagination and fitness training goals.

Here's the video:

Add this exercise to your fitness training toolbox; I believe you'll enjoy it - the squat-assisted pullup.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

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