pull ups exercise

Pull-Ups: Exercise of the Week

Thought I’d introduce an exercise many people have a challenge with – pull-ups. Because you are having to lift your entire weight and use only your upper body to do this, most everyone is quite intimidated by this one exercise. There is no real way to cheat other than swinging, and you probably feel pretty embarrassed if all you’re doing is monkeying around trying to lift your body repetitively so let’s look at the right way to do this exercise and how we can build strength to make this a breeze.

Now one note, the pull-up is different than the chin-up because you are using an underhand grip rather than an overhand grip. Most likely you will find the underhanded pull-up is easier since your biceps can really come into play to push you up.

Let’s get into the details of this exercise…

Pull-Ups Instructions

  • Jump up and grab the bar with an underhand grip.
  • Your hands should be about shoulder width apart.
  • Lift yourself up until your elbows hit your sides.
  • Lower yourself slowly until arms are full extended.

Muscles used in Pull-ups:

Primary – Lats
Secondary – Forearm muscles (Brachialis and Brachioradialis), Shoulders (Posterior Deltoids), Traps (lower & middle), Chest (Pectoralis major and minor),
Stabilizers – Biceps, Triceps

Points to focus on:

  • You should have at least a 2 second count on the way up and on the way down
  • Your main point of focus should be on your lats muscles
  • Make sure you are not swinging and using that momentum for lifting yourself up
  • Keep elbows stationary
  • Keep abs tight to bring balance
  • Concentrate on moving shoulder blades back

Common Mistakes:

  • Swinging
  • Moving legs
  • Going too fast

Recommended Exercise Routine:

3 sets of 8-10 repetitions

Recommended Supplements with this Exercise:

SuperPump – Gaspari Nutrition’s SuperPump250
Creatine Monohydrate – Fusion Bodybuilding’s Purple-K
Whey Protein – Optimum 100% Whey Protein

Conclusion – Pull-Ups

This is a very tough exercise, but the key is to not give up. Even if you have to start at only doing 2 repetitions in a set just trying increasing the number of repetitions by one each week. Pull-ups are a fantastic exercise because the involve so many muscles and if you are trying to build strength in your arms and mid-back this is definitely one of the best exercises out there for this.

Have any questions or thoughts about this exercise? Please leave a comment below…