High pull

COMBINES: deadlift, pull

USED IN: Hypertrophy I

SETUP: Load a barbell with a weight you would use in a shoulder press. Grab it with an overhand grip just outside shoulder width, and hold it in front of your thighs.

LOWERING: Bend your knees and bend forward slightly at the hips, as if you were preparing to jump. The bar stays in contact with your thighs as it slides down a few inches.

LIFTING: Now you're going to do a facsimile of a jump, as you simultaneously come up on your toes and straighten your knees and hips. In the same motion, pull the bar up to your chest. Try to increase the speed and fluidity of the movement in subsequent workouts; it really should feel like jumping, only with a bar in your hands.

DON'T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU: Our friend Charles Staley, a strength coach in Phoenix, once told me a story that should serve as a caution for everyone who enjoys and gets good at high pulls. He once pulled so hard that he hit himself in the chin with the bar. When he came to, he was flat on his back, with blood flowing from his mouth. The lesson: Take it easy with lighter weights. I've popped myself in the chin a couple of times. I wasn't hurt, but the experience made me remember Staley's knockout experience.

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