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upper back workouts

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When doing the pull-up hang on the pull-up bar. If you don’t have a pull-up bar, you can use a squat rack. Raise the uprights of the squat rack as high as you can. Then you can put the barbell in the upright position  and hang from it to do your pull-ups. You can also get a doorway pull-up bar.

Once you have a bar to hang from, follow these five simple steps to do pull-ups while keeping a proper form.

Grip the bar. You want it to be about shoulder-width apart with a full grip keeping your palms down.

    1. Now you hang. Bend your knees and raise your feet off the floor. You want to hang so your arms are straight.
    2. Pull yourself up by pulling your elbows down to the ground keeping your elbows close.
    3. Here’s 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.
    4. 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, just do negatives. Get your chin over the bar by standing on the bench. Lower yourself slowly and then 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 by 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 by yourself.

    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. And Overhead Press pull-ups are a vertical movement. The main difference between Barbell Rows and pull-ups is that pull-ups work less muscles than Barbell Rows 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, try the exercise with your palms up. Your forearm muscles also get worked when you bend your elbows and grip the bar. Your triceps pull your elbows back towards your torso.
    • Your core. Your ab muscles help your lower back from arching while you pull yourself up. It keeps a straight line from your shoulders all the way to your knees. This works your abs. If you eat right and keep doing pull-ups we promise those muscles 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.


-Terry Asher

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