Isometrics can be used in many different ways to help you attain or expand your pullup and chin-up ability. Here I show the main isometric form that I use in my training.
Generally, pullups are when your hands are positioned facing away from your body, and chin-ups are when your hands positioned facing towards your body. When working with isometrics I tend to stick to the chin-up grip because it is easier on my elbows. (Gymnastic rings can be even better.)
There are nine different types of isometrics. For the pullups and chin-ups, I use two types: holding and beyond-the-hold isometrics.
As with most isometrics, there are multiple positions within each exercise itself, but here I find that just working the weakest point, the top position, tends to get results.
When you’re aiming for a certain weight or going for reps, you tend to get stopped by not being able to get to the top, with the chin over the bar. Therefore, working the top position helps support the performance in the full range exercise.
A good starting place of time is 6-10 sec holds, and work up to a maximum isometric pull.
You can also aim to work up to a minute or longer of a hold.
With the holds, I will load these with heavier weights than what I use to normally workout on this exercise. Here I’m using a 60kg/132lb weight.
Find out more about pullup training inside The Ultimate Guide to Pullups & Chin-ups.