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Marine Pull-ups

Shrinivas Kanade Aug 3, 2020
Do you often boast that you can perform 20 marine pull-ups at a stretch? Well, between us, can you do it for real? To know more about this exercise, popularized by the United States Marine Corps, read on...
Marine pull-ups are, sometimes, also referred to as dead hang pull-ups. At any given point of time, every marine serving in the United States Marine Corps, has to be physically fit. No single person in the Marine Corps, is exempted from this basic requirement on the basis of age, grade or duty assignment.
Since 1st October 2008, every Marine, every fiscal year, has to take a Combat Fitness Test (CFT) and a Physical Fitness Test (PFT) with a duration of 6 months between them. Marine corps pull-ups (for males) and flexed arm hang (for females), in addition to a 3-mile run and crunches are part of these tests.

Scoring with Pull-ups

In case of Marines (Female), maximum of 100 points are awarded only if the Marine can flex arm hung for 70 seconds from the bar. Marine is not allowed to touch the bar with her chin.
When the arms become completely extended or the Marine interrupts flex arm hung and drops to the ground, the clock is stopped. The actual hung time is deducted from the 70 seconds. The difference is multiplied by 2. The result is then subtracted from 100 which gives the Marines score.
Marines (Male) with each faultless pull-up earns 5 points, however, they do not get any points if they perform beyond 20. In fact, pull-ups are not counted beyond 20. So, a marine can only earn maximum of 100 points even if he is fit to do more pull-ups.
Now, let us elaborate on this popular exercise which has its roots in the physical training regime of the Marine Corps. The purpose of doing marine pull-ups is to strengthen the upper body muscles. This exercise particularly targets the back muscles and the biceps. The intention is to make a marine capable of climbing a rope or lift and carry an injured person to safety, in the quickest time possible.

How to Do Pull-up Exercises

It is stated, that the horizontal pull-up bar used in these workouts, should be 1 to 1-3/4 inches in diameter
  • The bar should be high enough to let a person hang with arms fully extended, without touching the ground with his feet.
  • If the bar is out of your reach, you are allowed to jump to grasp hold of it. However, you are not permitted to use the momentum of your jump to aid you in the first pull-up.
  • You can grasp the bar with your palms, facing towards or away from you. Grasp the bar and maintain shoulder length distance between both palms.
  • Extend your arms completely and hang from the bar, without swaying your body loosely.
  • While doing the exercise, you can bend your legs, but cannot lift them above your waist, lock them at the ankles or let them hang free.
  • You are required to use your arms to pull yourself up till your chin is just above the bar. Your chin should never rest on the bar during the whole exercise. Movements like kicking your feet or jerking your body to aid your arms in pulling yourself up, are not permitted.
  • Once your chin is above the chin up bar, drop back till your hands are fully extended and your elbows locked. You have to maintain this position for at least a second to make your pull-up count, which now amounts to one. Go ahead and try to complete 10 pull-ups.
  • Bear in mind that you will have to maintain your biceps and lateral muscles in top form.
The pull-up bar is a basic equipment tool to help you develop your back muscles. It is used by professional body builders and amateurs alike, to gain the much cherished V-shape. Chin up bars can be mounted on the wall if it is strong enough to bear the weight of the exerciser. They are available in the form of portable pull-up bars that can be mounted easily in your office or home.
Lot of people find that marine pull-ups are difficult to perform, because of the restrictions imposed on body movements. Well, that is certainly true. It takes time to develop biceps and back muscles, in order for you to perform at least 20 pull-ups at a time. First achieve this objective, and only then think of increasing the intensity. Marines trying to push themselves to the limit during a workout, often reach a target of just 35 pull-ups.
With daily practice and a determined effort, you also can reach a respectable count. Setting a target and achieving it is a part of every person's desire to be better than what they right now. A healthy body raises your self-esteem and boosts your confidence level. So, cheer up!