Mastering the Metabolic Jumping Pull-Up

Personal Training

Mastering the Metabolic Jumping Pull-Up

by Davide DeRemigis, Precor Master Coach and Professional Trainer in Milan, Italy

Pull-ups, an iconic exercise for upper body strength, can also be performed as a metabolic exercise. 

Jumping is one of the most effective ways to elevate energy expenditure, and Metabolic Jumping Pull-ups (MJPs) may look easy to perform, but can quickly boost heart rate up and over 90% MHR (max heart rate). Often confused with jumping pull-ups (which have a slow negative phase), the MJP is rapid throughout the concentric and eccentric phases. In fact, the greater focus in a MJP is on the jumping action, rather than the pull. While in a jumping pull-up the jump serves to bring the chin above the bar in order to perform a slow negative phase to build up strength, in the MJP the negative part serves as a quick return to the starting position. This enables the exerciser to perform many movements in sequence (30 MJPs in 30 seconds will really put you out of breath).

Let’s have a closer look at the mechanics of the MJP:

Starting Position

Set the Superfunctional bar at an overhead height. Bend knees and drop down until arms are fully extended shoulder-width apart. Knees will bend to 45 degrees. Prone grip is the standard one, however the exercise can also be performed with a supinated grip. In this case it would be called Metabolic Jumping Chin-up.

Movement Sequence

  1. From the starting position, fully and powerfully extend your legs and hips while pulling up towards the bar.
  2. Aim to bring your chin above the bar…
  3. …and then release as fast as you can. No negatives!
  4. Landing: focus on good landing mechanics by absorbing the impact (from glutes to hams to quads to calves) in a slightly bent forward position.
  5. Reset and repeat quickly with no breaks between movements.

Common Mistakes

  1. Not using a full range of motion: not fully extending arms or bending legs.
  2. Not bringing chin above the bar.
  3. Shifting weight forward while jumping and landing, likely due to weak glutes. To restore this motion, mobilize and activate glutes prior to the workout. For example, perform split squats with tubing that is attached to a Wall Bar and the back of one leg. Alternate this exercise with psoas stretches.

About the Glutes

Many people spend their days sitting in an office, often leading to postural distortions and underactive glutes. When jumping and landing, the glutes play a key part in two ways:

  1. Absorbing the shock of landing and safely transferring the impact forces to the other joints.
  2. Resetting the jumping position. A good jump is performed when we are ready to immediately rebound.

The advantage of having a Superfunctional to observe glute imbalances is that it is not fixed. Therefore, any forward shift will be accentuated by not having a fixed bar to hang onto. A trainer will be able to more easily observe and address postural deviations and imbalances in the glutes, quadriceps and hamstrings.

Variations

  1. Metabolic Jumping Chin-up. Perform this exercise with a prone grip.
  2. Metabolic Jumping Pull-up with Squat. In this case the starting position is a full squat. Therefore, the Superfunctional bar will be set at a lower level allowing a full squat.

Author Information

Davide DeRemigis
Davide DeRemigis's picture

Davide is a Precor Master Coach, soccer coach, personal trainer, and CrossFit Level 1 trainer based in Milan, Italy. He is a former soccer player at the regional level in both Italy and Scotland. After playing soccer for 15 years, he has spent the last six years as a coach for universities and regional teams. Davide began his career in fitness after graduating in Sports Science at the University of Aberdeen. He then gained his qualification as a REPs 3 personal trainer in the UK. He most recently trained clients at Virgin Active before transitioning his role as an independent personal trainer and fitness educator.

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