Triad Pull Ups

In this monthly series of articles, Mike will discuss the science and practice of physical training for Water Polo. Strength, flexibility, Water Polo science, rehab and other areas of interest with respect to the physical development of the Water Polo athlete will be covered.

Here is a variation of a pull up that can be used to not only strengthen the upper-mid back but also enhance team building. It's called the Triad (3 Way) Pull Up because it requires 3 athletes but could also be modified for 4 athletes.

In previous articles I have written about the importance of doing more pulling exercises then pushing and this is a pull with the addition of added trunk work by the athletes standing at the side.

Video Link: Triad Pull Up

The athletes on each side must isometrically contract their trunk muscles in order to maintain an upright position.

4 Person Version - Easily turn this into a 4 person drill with the 4th athlete holding the feet or legs.

Easy to Hard - When the knees are bent the drill is relatively easy compared to having the legs straight or straight and on a bench or chair.

Programing - Here are 3 ideas you can use to program this exercise into a dryland program.

  1. Perform a ladder of reps and repeat for either a set time limit or a prescribed number of rounds. I personally prefer a time limit because you always finish on time! A ladder is when you perform one set of a predeterminded number of reps and then your other two teammates do the same with increasing the reps each round (see examples below).

    • Choose a repetition ladder to use. Examples would be 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 5, 10, 15, 20 or 10, 9, 8, 7, ...., 1 but of course they could be almost anything.

    • Cycle through each athlete and keep going non-stop for the duration of your time limit. So if the ladder was 1 rep, 2 reps, 3 reps for 10 minutes. Every athlete would do 1 rep, then every athlete would do 2 reps and then 3. Then they would start again at 1 rep.

    • How long? 5-15 minutes would be in the right ball park for most athletes.

  2. Perform standard straight reps x sets. Example: 5 x 5 or 3 x 10 reps, ....

  3. Max reps – just do 1 set but max out on the reps, do as many as you can. Useful when you do not have much time or you want to do a little test of your strength/fitness. Not very useful if done all the time. Once per month is more then enough especially if you are training many hours in the pool to begin with.

With all the above you can also pair or put it in a sequence of other exerices.

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