When doing the pull up hang on the pull up bar. If you don’t have a pull up bar, you can use the squat rack. Raise the uprights of the squat rack as high as you can. Then you can put the barbell in the uprights and hang from it to do your pull ups. You can also get a doorway pull up bar.
Once you have your bar to hang from, follow these five simple steps to do pull ups maintaining proper form.
Grip the bar. You want it to be about shoulder-width apart with a full grip keeping your palms down.
- Now you hang. Bend your knees and raise your feet off the floor. You want to hang so your arms are straight.
- Pull yourself up by pulling your elbows down to the ground keeping your elbows close.
- The difficult part. Passing the bar. Pull yourself ALL the way up until your chin passes the bar. You want to make sure you do full reps to get the most out of your exercise.
- And Repeat. Lower yourself all the way down until your arms are straight again at starting position. Breathe and pull up again.
If you lack the strength to do one pull up you can do negatives. Get your chin over the bar by standing on the bench. Lower yourself slowly and then you can jump off and up again for the next rep. Another way to switch it up if you aren’t able to do one pull up is using a resistance band around your leg to help you up. You can always can ask your gym partner/spotter to help you by holding your legs. You want to stay away from assisted pull up machines. The reason being is the only way to get stronger at pull ups is by doing pull ups.
Pull ups are mostly an upper-back and arm exercise. Unlike Barbell Rows they actually train your back differently. Barbell Rows also are a horizontal movement like the Bench Press. Like the Overhead Press pull ups are a vertical movement. The major difference between Barbell Rows and pull ups is pull ups trains and hits less muscles than Barbell Rows simply because your legs and hips do nothing but hang. Pull ups are more of an upper-body focused exercise and less of a full body exercise.
The muscles that pull ups work are…
- Your biceps, forearm and triceps. They bend your elbows in order to pull yourself up. If you want to work your biceps the hardest when you do pull ups do the exercise with your palms up. Your forearm muscles also get worked in order to bend your elbow and to keep you gripped on to the bar. Your triceps pull your elbows back towards your torso.
- Your core. Your ab muscles are what prevent your lower back from arching while you pull yourself up. It maintains a straight line from your shoulders all the way to your knees. This works your abs. If you eat right and continue doing pull ups we promise they will show.
- Your upper-back. Your lats pull your arms down in order to pull yourself up. If you want that “v-shape” look you want to make sure to do your pull ups. You also work your traps, shoulders and various small muscles in your upper-back.
Chin ups are easier than pull ups. If you can’t do a pull up try doing chin ups. Also if you want bigger arms I suggest doing chin ups instead of pull ups. Chin ups force you to lift more weight because you have to lift your own body-weight.