Pull-ups, The Ultimate Exercise

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strong_men_pull_upsThere is one exercise that is the perfect gauge for body strength; the pull-up. If you cannot do a pull-up it is a clear indication that your body is not near to being in the type of shape or fitness that it should be.

Using pull ups as a starting position with Body weight Training will reap tremendous benefits. The more of these strength revealing pull-ups that you can do regularly, the better you will look and feel.

After three decades of gym ownership, it has been my observation that men in average shape, in their twenties can do about 3-10 chin-ups (palms facing away). For men in their thirties, the number is halved. From the forties on up it gets serious…most cannot do a single chin-up.

Pull ups are the ultimate test of fitness; they are a strength building dynamo calling into play all these muscles:

  • Fingers
  • Forearms
  • Biceps
  • Triceps
  • Shoulders
  • Back
  • Core

However, be aware…they can be intimating.

Here are some basic tips to get you started on this one exercise that always demands respect and admiration from both men and women:

  • Pull with the lats…Use your back muscles to pull FIRST…not your arms. Your lats are larger muscles and they possess more power and endurance than your arms. Use this advantage.
  • Keep your elbows pointing back and down…Imagine elbowing someone behind you in their stomach, this will aide you in firing your lats in the movement.
  • Get your chin over the bar…There is no need to go chest to bar as some trainers claim. Consider your chin going over the bar as a good solid repition; anything much beyond your chin does little to add to your back development.
  • Lose excess body fat…That’s a given. The leaner you are the better your pull-up ability will become. Overweight people rarely, if at all can do any pull-ups whereas pull-up masters are lean.

If you’re serious about pull ups, getting your diet under control is your starting point. The less you weigh, the less you have to pic-up over that bar.

  • Switch up your grips…Technically pull ups are using your palms facing you. Chin ups are palms facing away from you. Neutral grips are using a bar that allows your palms to be facing each other. Many people find holding onto the bar the most challenging part, however, the pay -off is a strong grip that leads to a strong upper body.
  • When training your upper body do a few sets of each; this help to build your back from different angles and it also works to strengthen your grip.

Put in smart and steady work towards your pull up power and soon you’ll be leaving jaws dropping in the gym as you easily pound out some reps.

Not only will these powerhouse exercises strengthen your body, they make you feel “badass” when you’re done.

There is no way to becoming an expert at this exercise other than just “doing it”.  So, my clear and easy advice is to, “ Just do it”!

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