If you are looking for an exercise to quickly improve your posture or if you aspire to have a wider back and heftier arms, pull-ups might be the much-needed addition to your workout routine. Pull-ups are one type of exercise that seems intimidating. Entering the gym, the typical people you see doing pull-ups are the big guns with protruding biceps and wide backs. In actuality, pull-ups are attainable no matter what size you are. You can even see pull-ups being done in the playground on monkey bars. This type of training is not limited to fitness professionals and trainers; women, teenagers, heavy-set, lean or skinny, it is all a matter of learning the correct way to do it.
Benefits of Doing Pull-Ups
If you decide to adapt this daunting exercise into your regular workout routine, you will reap immense physical benefits. It does not simply improve upper-body muscles but health and strength in general.
Pull-ups will condition your arms, shoulders and back as well as your core. Not to mention, it also helps with your posture since a lot of work will be done in maintaining your form. Stability and balance are also benefited as you learn how to control your body and go against gravity. It will also improve your health since it will tap on your heart and your metabolism. It will provide greater energy in the long run as well as your endurance.
Prep before you Pull-up
The first essential thing to do is to look for a place to do your pull-ups. If you decide to take it up a notch, you can purchase a free-standing bar, a door-frame bar, ceiling mount bars. Gloves and elastic band are also additional gear to support your training. Although this exercise can also be very economical since it doesn’t require fancy equipment or a gym membership, a solid and sturdy bar that you will have easy access to will do.
Gradually work your way up to higher intensity training. Often, beginners will start by managing to do one pull-up. It is not a feat that you can do without any warm up. Before anything else, if you are on the heftier side, do not neglect weight-loss training because of one fact: More body weight, the more weight you also have a lift to be able to do a pull-up. Pull-ups are also easier when you have a stronger core so exercises like plank and leg raises will condition your body beforehand.
Grip your Way to the Top
The grip is crucial if you want to eventually achieve a struggle-free pull-up training. How you grip the bar makes a huge difference. To avoid injuries also, master the perfect grip. Do not confuse a chin-up with a pull-up. Specifically, a pull-up grip should be either be facing away from your face or palms facing one another while a chin-up grip should have your palms towards you. Make sure your grip is slightly wider than your shoulders. To enhance your grip strength, you can always opt for grip exercises prior to your pull-up training.
Mind your Form
Aside from your grip, also take into account your form. Along with a steady grip, elbows have to be fully locked. Wobbly elbows will result to you swinging from the bars. Tighten your core and exhale deeply until you get that force to pull you upward. Pull by focusing on lifting your breastbone instead of just focusing on your arms. Draw your shoulders down and back with your lat muscles. Flex your elbows along with your biceps. Keep your legs straight and prevent them from flinging.
Continue to pull yourself up until your chin is parallel to your knuckles or parallel to the bar. Once you have reached that desired level, momentarily pause maintaining your form. Go against gravity and slowly lower yourself until you reach a dead hang position. Avoid touching the ground then repeat the steps. Do not rush the process since it might strain your muscles.
Assisted pull-ups is another manner to help you perform a smoother routine. You can utilize a chair or ask a partner to help lift you up. Doing this can help you ease in finally doing a full pull-up. Assisted pull-ups make use of other equipment like resistance bands. Take advantage of an assisted pull-up and repeat until you no longer need it anymore.
Negative pull-ups is another practice to get progression in your pull-up journey. It basically has the same steps as the regular pull-up although done in reverse. Start with bringing yourself at the top position with your chin over the bar. You can use a chair, a bench, or ask a partner to help. The focus comes in lowering yourself slowly until you are hanging with your arms fully extended. Repeat the process. Keep upper body muscles engaged and all movement should be controlled. Repetition of this will also help you in achieving a full pull-up by developing your muscles and body strength which is essential in the exercise.
Repeat, Repeat, Repeat
Remember that frequency will get you places. Doing the routine once in a blue moon will reap negative results. Be consistent and keep on finding ways to improve your grip, your form and the like. 3-5 times a week will suffice for a good progression.
Doing this exercise might not seem like rocket science and has very simple steps. Achieving that first pull-up, however, does not happen overnight. It will require a lot of sweat, time, determination and hard work until you can finally get the hang of it. Patience is key if you decide to dedicate yourself to do a pull-up. Results are worth it if you put your mind and your soul to it.
Each person will have different progression depending on the ability and strength level. All you have to do is commit to the exercise, apply all the strategies you have learned and keep an open mind to consistently improve your technique and you’ll see results in no time.