Here is one of the most functional exercises in the entire fitness world! The pull-up is a great workout for your upper back, biceps, core, and shoulders. It is more effective than the lat pulldown exercise, which although it is great for the upper back, it does not give you a full body workout as effectively. Plus, pull-ups can be difficult. There are plenty of people who can bench press 350 pounds in the gym. While that feat is awesome, ask how many guys in the gym can do 25 pull-ups. You will see very few people say they can. Pull-ups are not given enough credit, in our opinion. You can do them anywhere there is a bar, including the playground, the New York City scaffolding, and inside a subway car just to name a few places (you would be surprised at how many people actually do them in the subway cars). You do not need any weight. Your bodyweight is challenging enough. Think about it. If you weigh 175 pounds, then you are pulling 175 pounds up to the bar. Kipping does not count. Some people in the fitness industry stand by kipping if you have to get an extra rep or two. We feel it is cheating and it can potentially increase your risk for injury as well.
The pull-up is simple. Grab the bar and pull your body up until your head is over the bar. Lower yourself to where your arms are straight. Pull yourself up again. Try not to swing your body. If you cannot do a pull-up yet, do not worry. There are some easier progressions we will touch upon in another article where you can build up to doing your first pull-up. There are also harder variations of the pull-up as well. The one arm pull-up is pretty much the holy grail of pull-ups. It is very difficult, but if you can do one, you have an incredible amount of functional strength.
Grab a bar today and start doing your pull-ups. You will notice the difference! We will be posting a pull-up workout that will help you increase your lean muscle mass. It will also help you make major jumps when you do your bicep curls as well.