TRX/SRX Wide Pullup
This is a great lat, shoulder, and core exercise you can do without a pullup bar! You have heard me say many time that there is no substitute for pullups when it comes to lat development … and thats true. However, there IS a substitute for a pullup bar. Although I have told folks a hundred places they can do pullups, many still dont seem to have any place to do them. Even if you do have a pullup bar, when travelling or on vacation you cant take that pullup bar with you. This $5 DIY TRX suspension trainer is the ticket for those without a pullup bar or those traveling! Its looks like a pullup but when you do it you will see that its actually quite different. In a pullup you are pulling up and down, in this exercise you pull down *and* out which uses shoulders as well. Depending on how long or short you make the straps, you can vary how much shoulder is involved. The beauty of this exercise is that you can do it anywhere without a pullup bar. If you have a tree, an overhead beam, a balcony, or a stairway near you then you can do this exercise.
Like with any pullup, the most important thing is to tame those shoulders. The tendency is for people to go into a dead hang with the shoulders up against the ears at the bottom of the pullup so they can rest. You can rest when you are dead, keep the shoulders down and back with the shoulder blades scrunched together during the entire set. Visualize that you are moving by pulling your elbows down and out tracing out a upside down “V”. In my opinion people get too wound up about getting their chin above the bar so to speak. I personally stop when my forehead or nose is even with the grips. When you drop your elbows further, weird stuff happens to your form. To make this exercise a core workout as well, hold your legs out horizontally when you do the exercise. If your abs give out first, its ok to drop the legs or bend them so you can get more reps in but try to keep the legs up there for as long as you can.
So there you have it, an awesome lat, shoulder, and core exercise that you can do anywhere without a pullup bar. Later this year I will show you how to incorporate this exercise into some great complete workouts
How to anchor your TRX
When you do suspension trainer pullups, the trick is finding a place high enough to attach it so that you can do the pullups without banging your knees or butt on the ground. Strong metal railings on balconies work well as well as metal railings in stairways. Make sure that whatever you attach to is strong enough to hold your weight! So what if you dont have anything handy to attach it to? Find a strong tree limb that is nearly horizontal or a ceiling beam in a garage that is 8-15′ high and throw over a sturdy rope using a soft tennis shoe tied to the end to make it easier to toss. Once you have tossed it over, pull the SRX suspension trainer up and then secure the other end of the rope to something very strong and heavy that will not break nor move. If you don’t know how to tie a secure knot, this is not the right time to learn because a mistake will result in injury. Remember that if you fall you will get hurt so make sure whatever you tie the rope off to is strong and heavy enough!