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Horizontal Pulling

Horizontal Pulling. Hearing this, many of us think of ring rows and correlate this movement as a “bad” thing or a scale for pull-ups. First of all, it is DEFINITELY not a “bad” thing. It is a “tough” thing. It’s an appropriate scale for those of us who cannot hang from a bar for very long or get pull-ups with a band (which many of you know I can’t stand). But even if you are more than capable of hangin’ from a pull-up bar and bangin’ out 20 reps, you should still add in some horizontal pulling to your routine. If ring rows are easy for you to get, try doing strict ring rows with your feet elevated. Show me 20 good reps of that, and I would say you don’t need to add this into your training routine. My favorite way to add in horizontal pulling is by adding in barbell rows or Pendlay rows (both very similar, but still… a little different). If you don’t have pull-ups yet, this movement will definitely get you a more stable shoulder girdle and on your way to getting those elusive pull-ups in no time. 


The following is a link to a video explaining some technique for some horizontal pulling movements. Check it out. Add some in to your week. Get stronger! That’s why you came to us!

 ~ G2


This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Mickey Grouse

    Is it just me, or do ring rows often feel more taxing than kipping pull-ups? In any case, I just wanted to give big thanks to Coach Pat, who lead the Renegade Rowing/Crossfit Boston team to a glorious third-place finish yesterday at the Rumble on the River. Also big ups to Albert C. Jodie O., and Meg L., who braved the goose poop to cheer us on.

    Two CFB social events coming up in the next seven days:

    1. Dim sum at Hei La Moon (88-90 Beach Street, across Atlantic Avenue from Chinatown) this Sunday, September 22nd at 10:30 AM. If there is enough interest from people who want to go to the 9:30 AM class, we can push to 11 AM. Please email me at mickeygrrrouse [at] gmail [dot] com if you are interested in joining us for dim sum and your preference of either a 10:30 or 11 AM start time.

    2. “Happy Hour” hosted by Pop Rocks at 6B Lounge will start at 7 PM this Thursday, September 19th. My partner, Evelyn J. and I launched Pop Rocks earlier this month and it’s a quickly becoming the great place to meet folks for dinner, drinks, and maybe even a little bit of dancing, but that usually happens later. Here is the Facebook event page:


    If you enjoy having a DJ at CFB events, come support me and Evelyn J. so we can keep the lights on the Mickey Grouse billboard on!

    1. Neal Thompson

      Mickey, ring rows can be very taxing due to no momentum being created by the hips. The movement is more like a strict pull up than a kipping pull up.

  2. Albert

    Horizontal pulling is an excellent balance to push-ups that pull-ups do not address. There are many ways to make it more challenging. Changing the angle of attack, by way of elevating your feet, is one way, but there’s also single arm ring-rows, front lever pull-ups, front lever rope climbs, pulling from a front lever to a victorian cross, and all the progressions to get to those more advance moves.

    With all of these, you can also add weight. If you’re on ring rows and single arm ring rows, you can put chains around your neck (behind neck and loop to front of shoulders). If you’re at front lever movements (pull-ups or into another advance position like the victorian cross), you can add weight to the lever (your feet) or CoG.

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