We in the fitness world are always looking for ways to push our body’s to the next level! This installment of Building a Better Athlete’s Workout of the Week will be covering one of the oldest tricks in the book yet often time the most over looked, the glorious Pull-Up.
The pull-up has been around for decades, and maybe that’s why no one can do them anymore. The pull-up itself is not a flashy exercise, you don’t get to throw around those 100lb dumbbells down after you just failed on your 4th set of curls or drop your 135 lbs after doing 21 thrusters. But if you’re looking for overall strength and a good way to increase lean muscle mass, pull-ups are your “boy”.
The pull-up has many different names and styles. It is sometimes referred to as a chin-up or chest-up. All joking aside, it’s one movement, you are literally pulling your body up from a hang and then releasing back into a hang. This exercise works a wide variety of muscles depending on the grip.
Standard Pull-up (palms away from body):
Place your hands on the bar shoulder width apart with your palms facing away from you. Pull your body up to the bar and then release it back down slow and controlled. Avoid dropping all the way down if possible because this could cause shoulder pain and screw up your rhythm. This targets your: back, arms, and abs.
Normal grip (palms facing towards body):
Place your hands on the bar shoulder width apart with your palms facing you. Pull your body up to the bar and then release it back down slow and controlled. Avoid dropping all the way down if possible because this could cause shoulder pain and screw up your rhythm.*This is a great addition to your “arm” days. If you’re looking for that extra pump to throw your biceps over the edge of ridiculousness give this a try.
Wide grip (palms facing away from body):
Use the same form as in the first two. The main muscle worked in the wide grip pull-up is the latissimus dorsi, which is the fancy word for that big wing-like muscle you see on the side of your back. This muscle is notorious for giving someone that exaggerated V look on their upper body.
If you are used to pull-ups and think that they are a breeze, bump your training to an elite level with these tips:
- Instead of only bringing your chin over the bar, do a “Chest to Bar” pull-up! Pull yourself up to where the part of the bar facing you hits between your collarbone and the bottom of your chest.
- If you have exhausted all options and feel that you are the god or goddess of pull-up, attempted a weighted pull-up. Use a “dip belt” and add plates to make the pull-ups a little more complicated!
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