The 6-Point Pull-Up Variation is a great sequence of pull and chin ups that I put together to make use of the typical Pull-Up bar set up you find on most cross-over cable columns. I began doing this while trying to make the most of spotty access to good pull-up bars when traveling so much over the past year and a half or so – I’ve been spending a serious amount of time on the road, and sometimes a hotel gym is the only option. To the regular gym goer, this could be a major obstacle in their routine. If you’ve seen some of the spaces they pass off as “gyms” in some hotels (yes, even the nice ones), you may be shocked. Luckily for us bodyweight athletes, all we need is a few square feet of open space and we can effectively build strong and functional bodies, no-excuses.
So, if free space is our gym, then when we have access to some sort of pull up bar, it’s damn near a luxury gym! After all, we know that in order to completely balance our training we will need some sort of “PULLING” movement. In a pinch I get by with a door knob and a towel, but for those occassions that a hotel gym has a pull bar of some sort, I like to make the most out of it.
Vertical Pulling Pattern – Multiple Variations
The 6 Point Pull-Up (or, the “6-Point” as we like to call it at GBT) is an absolutely killer way to work those vertical pulling muscles in a multitude of ways. It’s a mix of multiple types of Pull and Chin-Ups in one sequence. You perform multiple rounds, alternating your base arm after each full revolution. The base arm in this sequence is the arm that basically stays in the same place, while you move the rest of the body around it.
The key benefit to this movement is the many joint angles you can obtain at the shoulder, elbow and wrist joints. With each new position, you are working your vertical pulling muscles in different ways. Why is this important?
The Muscles Utilized
Most fitness enthusiasts are aware that the lats and biceps are your prime movers in the Pull or Chin-Up. However, the relationship of the humerus (arm bone) to the scapula (shoulder blade) and the scapula’s relationship to the ribcage and spine dictate just what part of the lats are receiving the majority of the body’s load. This also determines how the surrounding muscles like the rhomboids, serratus anterior and even the “core” muscles are used.
In the same way, the hand position will seriously effect how the elbow flexors (like the biceps, brachialis, bracioradialis) are used. Even if you have no clue what these muscles are, you can still understand that the muscles that are involved are all worked in multiple ways.
The 6-Point Variations
Pull and Chin-Ups are basically classified by the hand position, being either underhand, overhand or neutral, as well as the actual placement of the hands on the object. In the 6 Point Pull-Up, we are pretty much covering all of your hand variations, as well as most hand placements. The 6 variations go like this:
Mixed Grip Pull-Up
We’ll begin the sequence with a Mixed Grip Pull-Up
Followed by an Archer Chin-Up
Then swinging into a Commando Pull-Up
Wide Grip Pull-Up
The moving into a Wide Grip Pull-Up
Mixed Grip Chin-Up
Then transitioning into a Mixed-Grip Chin-Up
Then lastly, performing a Shoulder Width or Narrower Pull-Up.
Once you’ve completed the sequence, you can swing around to start the entire round with the opposite base arm.
Using the 6-Point Pull-Up
In most gyms you will find this Pull-Up Bar set up at the top of most cross over cable columns. Some newer pieces have multiple handles at a variety of angles. If this is the case, then get creative and play with different sequences and hand placements. Just be sure to keep your transitions as clean as possible. As always, as soon as your form begins to break down, it’s time to rest.
Keep training hard, whether it’s at your gym, a hotel gym or just a few square feet of open space!
Want to check out some more tutorials on Pull-Up related exercises? Check out some of my other videos and articles:
The Archer Pull-Up:
Check out the full article here: The Archer Pull-Up: Add This to Your Rings Training!
The Tornado Pull-Up:
Check out the full article here: The Tornado Pull-Up: Strength with a Twist
And don’t miss our Four Part series teaching you the kipping muscle up:
Learning the Kipping Muscle-Up: Complete Lead-Up Exercise Series