Pull-ups

Image of how to do a pull-ups

Introduction

Type: Strength

Main Muscle Worked: Lats

Equipment: Body Only or weight vest

Level: Beginner

What are Pull-ups?

Pull-ups are a challenging compound exercise that forces you to lift your own body weight. You perform pull-ups on an overhead bar, and how you reach up and grab the bar determines what muscles you use and how difficult the exercise is going to be. Select the variation you prefer based on what muscles you’re trying to work and your own strength level.

The pull-up has been extensively tested and studied and is very popular with both newcomers and advanced athletes alike.

Doing pull-ups can be a very challenging exercise if you are starting out. However, it’s a great way to build up strength and muscle in your upper-body if the steps are followed perfectly. knowing which muscles are stimulated when doing pull-ups is critical for making a choice when adding this particular exercise (or one of its many variations) into your regular training routine as they work different parts of the body.

If you have a gym membership there will be pull up bars all over the place.  At your house you might have “the perfect pull up” in your door way.  If you have neither of these you can purchase a pull-up bar from here: Pull-up bar

Muscles Worked in Pull-ups

Pull-up muscles

primary: Latissimus Dorsi, Biceps

secondary: Trapezius, Rear deltoid

Benefits of Pull-ups

You can do Pull ups Anywhere

The good thing about this exercise is that you can do them anywhere, and they are one of the most convenient exercises that you can do. All you need is a solid bar and your own 2 arms to do them. You can do them at the gym if you have a membership, or if you want you can buy your own pull-up bar and do them from the convenience of your own home.

Customisability

Pull ups are one of the easiest exercises to scale up with weights. The easiest and best way to add weight is through a weight vest, if you don’t have one you can purchase one here: Weight vest

Adding weight to pull ups increases the intensity of each rep and opens up huge potential for adding muscle mass and gaining strength, Pull ups with additional weight can ensure you maintain a progressive overload.

A progressive overload is where you increase the resistance of an exercise consistently so that your muscles adapt to the increased tension by gaining strength and muscle.

They Make Your Back Stronger

Another big benefit that you get from doing pull ups, is that they work out your back muscles. However having bigger muscles in your back isn’t just for good looks, it actually leads to a much healthier life. Having stronger back muscles means having a better posture because you can more easily hold yourself up.

Also, weak back muscles often lead to having back pain. Working out your back through some simple pull-ups is an easy solution to all of those problems, plus it will make your life a lot easier because mostly all of the physical exercises you do involve using your back muscles to some degree.

Weight Loss

The next benefit that you can get from doing some pull-ups is that you can lose some weight. Pull ups won’t burn as many calories as doing some cardio exercises like running on a treadmill or doing some cycling, but they will certainly burn some calories none the less. If you want to step up the intensity to burn even more calories you can always do more reps, more sets, do them faster, and take less time resting in between.

How to do Pull-ups

Pull-ups

  1. 1. Grip the bar about shoulder-width apart, Full grip with your palms down
  2. 2.Raise your feet off the floor by bending your knees. Hang on the bar with straight arms and your legs off the floor.
  3. 3. Pull yourself up by pulling your elbows down towards the floor, Keep your elbows close together.
  4. 4. Pull yourself all the way up until your chin passes the bar.
  5. 5. Lower yourself all the way down slowly until your arms are straight.

Repeat for desired reps

Mistakes commonly made in pull-ups

Wrists

Throughout the pull-up your wrists should not be flexed and should remain in a neutral position.

Wide Grip

When performing pull-ups if your grip is too wide you won’t be able to have a full range of motion.

Too Fast

The entire movement of pull-ups should be controlled and slow. Once your form starts to get poor, it’s time to stop and take a rest or you may risk injury.

Safety when performing pull-ups

You should avoid this exercise if you have a back, neck, shoulder, elbow, or a wrist injury. Talk to your doctor or physical therapist about what if the exercise is suitable for you. It is also best to limit doing pullups to only just two days per week to avoid injury and strain. When using a bar make sure it is secure and stable in order to prevent falling and injuring yourself.

Variations of Pull-ups

All the variations below are all easy to do, use the same steps as above and use the same equipment so you never need to buy a new bar, plus each of them works out slightly different muscle groups at different levels so you can get the results that you want.

Plus for more advanced lifters you can add weight to any of the variations by using a weight vest, if you do not have a weight vest one can be purchased here: Weight vest

Close Grip pull-ups

Narrow pull-up

If you want to activate your chest muscles and build your pecs, move your hands closer together. The narrower your grip, the more you use your chest muscles. Fitness enthusiasts who like to do weighted pullups also tend to use narrow-grip hand positions because your chest is stronger and allows you to lift a heavier load.

  1. 1. Grab onto the pull-up bar with your palms facing away from your body and about 8 inches apart.
  2. 2. Pull yourself up so that your chin completely over the bar.
  3. 3. Lower yourself back down until your arms are almost locked out straight.

Repeat for desired reps.

Wide Grip pull-ups

Wide grip pull-up

Wide grip pull-ups can be incorporated into back workouts, pull workouts, upper body workouts, or full body workouts.

If you want to work your back more, move your hands further apart. A wider grip moves the focus off of your pecs and burns more of your back muscles the further out you go.

  1. 1. Using a pronated grip, grasp the pull bar with a wider than shoulder width grip.
  2. 2. Take a deep breath, squeeze your glutes and brace your abs. Depress the shoulder blades and then drive the elbows straight down to the floor while activating the lats.
  3. 3. Pull your chin towards the bar until the lats are fully contracted, then slowly lower yourself back to the start position.

Repeat for desired reps.

The Hammer Grip Pull-up

Hammer grip pull-up

Also known as a parallel grip, with this variation you do a pull-up while your palms face each other. Many gyms don’t have the right pull-up bar style to accomodate this move, So it might be a good idea to buy one for use at home

A hammer grip pull-up is ideal if you have weak shoulders or have injured your shoulders in the past. This neutral grip puts less strain on the shoulders and reduces the pressure on your wrists. The hammer grip is also loved because it emphasizes the biceps, making it perfect for arm day.

  1. 1. Start off standing in front of a pull up bar or machine and grab the hammer grip section of the bar.
  2. 2. Lift your feet up off of the floor and pull up slowly, squeezing tightly on your lats until your shoulders are at level with your head.
  3. 3. Hold this position for a count then return back to the starting position.

Repeat for desired reps.

Write below in the comments your opinion on the pull-up, if it works for you and any questions you might have.

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