pull up from a door frame

marcelotine

Level 4 Valued Member
Is it possible do a proper pull up from a door frame such that your legs can't be fully extended, and you are forced to bend at the knees and tuck your legs behind you? I find it very difficult to tighten up in this position.

What adjustments can be made if you don't have access to a pull up bar that is high enough for your legs to be fully extended?
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Is it possible do a proper pull up from a door frame such that your legs can't be fully extended, and you are forced to bend at the knees and tuck your legs behind you? I find it very difficult to tighten up in this position.
Most people, including me, would agree with you. It's an acceptable substitute while on the road but not a good long-term solution.

If you'll forgive a story from my training earlier in the week, it's not quite the same thing, but I was working on Archer Pullups on rings. I have two sets of rings, one adjusted high enough that I can hang from them fully extended, and the other set lower for things like ring dips. I usually do my archers on the higher set but lately I haven't been like how the short length of strapping means that my extended arm not only must go out but also up. My solution could be your solution if you have a low pullup bar: L-sit. I did my archers on the lower rings and as L-sit pullups.

Not for everyone, not for maximum weight, not for super high reps, but nonetheless a fine use of a pullup bar that's too low for full extension. I did these for the 2nd time earlier today.

-S-
 

Don Fairbanks

SFG II
Certified Instructor
I have a low bar / high bar situation similar to Steve's.
I don't do L's, but I will hold my quads parallel to the ground, like a sitting position. This position helps keep me tight and I will sometimes add some weight by placing a 10lb plate or two across tops of legs.
 

marcelotine

Level 4 Valued Member
@offwidth : Sorry for the possibly misleading subject line. I do not mean hanging from the door frame, by simply hanging from anything that is no high enough to allow for full extension of the leg, which is invariably the case when your pull up bar is set to your average door frame and you average or above average in height.

It seems to me that not being able to have full extension of the legs is a less than optimal way (perhaps even a bad way?) of doing a pull up, and my question is simply what adjustments can be made to improve the form of the pull up under such circumstances.
 

marcelotine

Level 4 Valued Member
I have a low bar / high bar situation similar to Steve's.
I don't do L's, but I will hold my quads parallel to the ground, like a sitting position. This position helps keep me tight and I will sometimes add some weight by placing a 10lb plate or two across tops of legs.
So that mean you have your knees pulled up in front of you, as opposed to what I have been doing which is tucking my legs behind me - correct?

Will definitely give that a try..
 

offwidth

Level 9 Valued Member
@offwidth : Sorry for the possibly misleading subject line. I do not mean hanging from the door frame, by simply hanging from anything that is no high enough to allow for full extension of the leg, which is invariably the case when your pull up bar is set to your average door frame and you average or above average in height.

It seems to me that not being able to have full extension of the legs is a less than optimal way (perhaps even a bad way?) of doing a pull up, and my question is simply what adjustments can be made to improve the form of the pull up under such circumstances.
Not ideal no; but L-sits, and forward knee tucks are acceptable in a pinch... although you might find a proper L-sit hard to do...
 

Benjamin Renaud

Level 7 Valued Member
If L-sits prove too hard, just doing them with a 'lazy L' starting with your feet on the floor in front of you in a hollow shape might be a bit easier especially if mobility/flexibility is an issue with L-sits.
 
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