I've been getting a lot of questions about pull-ups lately, so I decided I would make a video outlining good pull-up form. I also talk about modifications in it, including the chair pull-up and also negative pull-ups, which are never outlined in p90x. Everyone seems to want to know the secret of how to increase pull-up numbers, but really there is no secret, except that you have to go back to basics and make sure your form is good!
If I could outline my video into three tips, it would be:
1) In order to get better at pull-ups, you have to DO pull-ups
Lat pull-downs and use of resistance bands just doesn't cut it. You are using your own body for resistance with a pull-up, and the only way to get better at this motion is to actually do it, even if you modify it's way better than doing a substitute weighted exercise.
2) The only person who can experience YOUR pull-up is YOU!
Everyone's body is different, don't forget that. Never compare numbers with other people, because they are lifting THEIR body not YOURS. And I don't just mean differences in weight, I mean we are different in the length of our legs, our upper body distribution width of our shoulders, etc., all of which are factors on how easy or hard a pull-up is!
3) Engage the back, and straighten your arms at the bottom
If you walk away with only one point from my video, it is this one. Don't turn it into a shoulder exercise unless you want to tear your rotator cuff down the line! Also, don't "cheat" but doing them with bent elbows. Always be honest with yourself, never do cheat reps and write them down on your workout sheet as real reps, it will only lead to bad things!