Now, here is an interesting video – one that perked my attention. I love pullups – just love ’em. It’s been one of my favorite exercises ever since I was a kid. And the pull-up/chin-up exercise family is a great one, and one that can and should be used by most people engaged in a strength training program.
Mike posted this video awhile back to offer a general rundown of the pullup exercise to help you get a V-tapered back that “chicks dig.” Whether that strikes a nerve with you or not, this is a GREAT exercise for strength purposes, health, rehab, and even as a building block for a practical movement skill – and I recommend it!
Check out the rundown here…
Ugh. Is it just me, or is that some seriously awful camera work? Just food for thought in case anyone from the Six Pack Shortcuts staff ever reads this. Might I suggest either sending your cameraman to Full Sail University in FL or just finding another camera guy who can keep Mike in the frame during the video? Is that too much to ask?
Now, the video – as a whole – wasn’t too shabby. I won’t say it was great, but it wasn’t terrible either. I’d probably give it 3 out of 5 stars taking into consideration its given purpose. Mike covers several of the key points when it comes to pullups, but he does gloss over some of the finer details, which is understandable because most Youtubers don’t have a very long attention span – and it’s hard to fit everything into a 3-5 minute clip.
First things first, he did offer a few different grip options (good!): wide grip pullups, close grip pullups, underhand grip pullups (ie chinups). Using different grip types is a great way to broaden the benefits of the exercise and also reduce the risk of overuse injury from over-training one particular movement pattern. Mike was also wise to steer you away from the lat pulldown machine. That piece of equipment is a waste of valuable floor space if you ask me. And he even gave some tips for beginners who can’t do pullups, which is a very common issue – great!
So, all in all, it’s not a bad video.
Now, all that said, I do have one main beef with this instructional video, a beef that has been consistently growing with every Six Pack Shortcuts video I’ve watched so far: Mike’s lack of knowledge when it comes to exercise technique. Case in point, the pullup has absolutely nothing to do with moving the chin anywhere. The chinup is merely a name we’ve given it that misleads people to think that getting their chin over the bar is the end-all, be-all of pullup technique. This couldn’t be further from the truth, of course. The range of motion is dictated by the degree of elbow flexion and extension and humeral shoulder pitch (ie rotation). When your elbows are fully flexed (in the top position), that’s the full range of motion you can achieve. It has nothing to do with where your chin ends up in relation to the bar. This is just one example of not knowing how exercise works, and it smells a lot like someone read up on the internet how to do pullups and regurgitated this misleading info in a video that now has 2+ million views, thus perpetuating the problem.
Now, this isn’t a deal-breaker necessarily, but it does merit some caution for the discerning viewer. Take Mike’s technique recommendations with a grain of salt. Do your own research. For pullups, specifically, this tutorial is a great resource to learn the gist of optimal technique: The Right Way To Do Pull-ups And Chin-ups.
Stay tuned for the complete Six Pack Shortcuts review. It’s looking like it’ll be ready sometime in the next week or so.