Exercise is one of the best things you can do for your body – improving your endurance, strength, body weight, and just generally making you feel better. Pull-ups are one of those exercises that everyone knows is good for them, but not too many people can do effectively.
Why would I want to get good at pull-ups? Pull-ups are an excellent exercise that improves upper body strength. It is considered a compound exercise along with squats, bench press, and deadlifts. Pull-ups are used by bodybuilders and athletes because of how many muscle groups it works out.
What muscle groups do pull-ups work out?
Being a compound exercise, pull-ups cover a large number of muscle groups. Most obviously this exercise works out the shoulders, pectorals, and biceps. Pull-ups also work out the upper back and triceps, giving the v-shaped often looked for in people.
What are the different types of pull-ups?
There is a wide range of different pull-ups that can work out your muscles in a variety of ways. The most common varieties are the chin-ups, wide grips, and close grips. While learning all the different types can be useful, it isn’t necessary for starting out.
According to FITHAUS, a knowledgeable group of Toronto personal trainers, pull-ups are useful for anyone wanting to maximize their upper body strength. Often times climbers, boxers, and body builders incorporate pull ups into their work out routine – adding weights if they want to focus more on muscle building or normal pull ups for endurance.
So, where do I start?
Before you can start doing pull ups you need to know your overall health. If you can’t even do one pull up and are just generally in bad shape, make sure you sleeping well and eating a healthy diet – having a good foundation before you start will make the process easier!
What kind of diet should I have?
Nutrition is one of the most well-researched sciences, but everyone’s a little bit different. Regardless, there are few healthy habits you can pick up such as cutting sugary snacks and fried food out of your diet while consuming more fruits, vegetables, and water.
Anything else I should know before I get started?
If you want to do better at pull-ups, you’re going to want to cross train a little bit too. Try incorporating other compound exercises into your routine, along with focusing on a few muscle groups from time to time. Never work out the same muscle group two days in a row.
What equipment do I need to do my first pull up?
There are couple specific pieces of equipment you can get to help build you up to that first pull up – you’re going to need some basic hand weights, a bar, and a way to do “laying down” pull-ups (AKA body weight rows).
What specific exercises help to do pull-ups?
Just about any muscle building exercise will help you, but I find the best are bent over dumbbell rows – this exercise builds up the triceps, shoulders, and upper back quite well. From here you’re going to want to do some bodyweight rows and assisted pull-ups.
Wait, what is an assisted pull up?
Assisted pull-ups are exactly what they imply – a way to do a pull up with some help. There are a few ways to do them ranging from a band cradling your legs or feet, a machine assisted pull up that involves weights, or simply using a small platform.
Now, what about 10 pull-ups?
Practice makes perfect! Try doing pull up exercising a couple times a week and you should start to notice a difference. As the muscles tear and repair themselves, they build up strength making each session a little bit easier.
So I made it to 10 – what should I do now?
That’s of course up to you. But if you want to get even better at pull-ups you can increase the amount to even higher, or start incorporating different grips and weight belts. If you do choose to add weights, do just a little bit at a time – think increments of 2.5 lbs.
What are the best pull up bars?
If you want to do this in the comfort of your home, there are some great pull up bars out there. When looking for the best pull up bar don’t worry about getting anything too expensive – I would also recommend something with a sturdy grip and attaches to the top of the door frame.
What else should I do?
Remember, having a proper sleep schedule and eating healthy are integral to any exercise routine – pull-ups included. If you can’t do any yet just be patient – as you continue to work at it your body will naturally be able to do more over time – before you know it you’ll be at 10!