L pull ups are an advanced pull up that test your core in addition to your back and arms. If you want to turn pull ups into a full body exercise, then give L pull ups a try.

How to do L pull ups

L Pull Ups

The up and down position for L pull ups

  1. Begin by hanging from the pull up bar. Without swinging, raise your legs until they are parallel with the ground. With your legs extended, your body should form an L-shape.
  2. Pull yourself up until your chin is above the pull up bar.  Keep your legs out straight the entire time.
  3. Slowly lower yourself back down. That is one complete repetition.

L pull up video

For more exercise videos, check out Workout Dojo on YouTube.

Muscles used in the L pull up

L pull ups are such a great exercise because they work several major muscle groups all at once. The muscles of your back, specifically your lats and trapezius do most of the heavy lifting, with your biceps playing a supporting role. What separates the L pull up from regular pull ups is the leg raise. By maintaining the L-shaped position,  you are actively engaging your core the entire time. This makes L pulls a great exercise for your abs and obliques as well.

Substitutions for L pull ups

If you are struggling with L pull ups, there are several substitution you can make when you come across them in one of your workouts. For each L pull up you cannot perform, try:

  • One traditional pull up and two hanging leg raises. Work on each move separately until you can do them together. As you get better at the leg raises, hold each one longer until you can do a pull up at the same time.
  • A pull up with bent knees. This is a baby step towards a real L pull up. The bent knees reduces the weight on your abdominal muscles, making the exercise much easier. This exercise on its own won’t help you improve your core strength much, so be sure to include hanging leg raises in your workout routine.
  • Pull up with one straight leg and one bent. This is another step closer to the real deal. Alternate which leg you extend, so your are evenly building abdominal strength.

Mastered the L pull up?

If you want an even greater challenge, try holding something between your extended legs. Physics and the length of your legs work to make even a small amount of weight very difficult.

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