Tag Archives: how to

How to do a pull up

Recently, I did my first chin ups. It was the first time since I was a kid that I’ve done one, and I was thrilled to be able to do it again. I had a trainer that was trying to get me to do them a while ago, but I was not successful. But practicing on my own and using the technique that P90x teaches allowed me to finally do them. Here’s how I did it:

1. Building my upper body: Pull ups require a lot of upper body strength — many women don’t possess this naturally in the way that men do. I started building my upper body with weight machines like the lat pull down, rowing machines, and cables to build chest, back, shoulders, biceps and triceps. I also did a vigorous yoga program that includes sun salutations, side arm balance, crane, head stands/hand stands, and other upper body strengthening poses.

2. Easy does it: pull ups are hard enough as they are – so why go for the most difficult kind at first? I started by going for chin ups first – the grip (palms facing you) makes them a little easier to do than the standard pull ups (palms away). Also, it’s easier if you keep your grip standard – about shoulder distance apart. Wide or close grip pull ups can be more difficult and should be attempted when you are more advanced.

3. Getting support: When I worked with my trainer, he put me on a pull up bar and said, “OK, do a pull up.” Obviously that wasn’t going to happen – there was no way I could pull up all of my weight from hanging straight down with feet dangling in the air. I needed to decrease the amount of weight I was pulling. I learned that you can practice the pull up move by resting one or both feet on a chair and pulling up a portion of your weight. As I got stronger, I tried to just barely rest one foot on the chair while pulling up as much of my weight as I could handle. One day, I was able to one pullup. The next time, I tried for two, and I did it. As I get stronger, I see how many I can do. Right now, I’m up to 6 at one time without a chair.


Mindfulness – How to Start

Mindful eating is not difficult. It’s just a matter of practice.

But first, you need to see what being mindful is like.

Most of the time, we are walking around thinking about other things, multitasking, in a sort of half-in, half-out state of consciousness. We’re here physically, but we’re not here mentally. So, we have to learn to train our minds to be here now.

One of the easiest and most accessible – yet at times maddeningly difficult – ways to fall into mindfulness is to start by following your breath.

Get into a comfortable position. Sitting upright in a chair with your feet flat on the floor works well. Remove as many distractions from your area as possible – turn off electronics, mute the phone, make sure you will not be disturbed for a few minutes.

Then, all you need to do is pay attention to your breath. Notice how it flows into your lungs on the inhale. Pay attention to the natural pause that you have when your lungs are inflated. Then, you slowly exhale until your lungs are empty. You pause again at the bottom of the exhale. And then your automatically start again.

Your mind, like a dog, has probably already wandered off on many different tangents. It’s ok. Just bring your mind back to your breath. Each time it wanders, bring it back. It will wander. That’s its nature. Be patient with yourself.  Meditation is called a practice because you have to keep practicing it.

Try to practice for 10 minutes per day if possible – take 5 minutes in the morning and 5  minutes at the end of the day. Notice how you feel before and after your practice. What has changed? What hasn’t? What do you now see that you didn’t before?