Who hasn´t heard about pull ups? It’s one of my top exercises, because it works your entire upper body. A lot of people find it a very difficult exercise and therefor skip it altogether. Too bad, because pull ups have so many benefits. Let’s take a look at the different ways to do pull ups + check out my own secret pull up routine at the end.
When it comes to body-weight exercises, they don’t come much tougher than the wide-grip pullup. Even if you’re a competent chin-up master, you’ll find the wide-grip much more taxing. This can be a good thing, though, as switching to a wider hand spacing recruits different muscles and gives your training new purpose.
- Using a pronated grip, grasp the pull bar with a wider than shoulder width grip.
- Take a deep breath, squeeze your glutes and brace your abs. Depress the shoulder blades and then drive the elbows straight down to the floor while activating the lats.
- Pull your chin towards the bar until the lats are fully contracted, then slowly lower yourself back to the start position and repeat for the assigned number of repetitions.
A MUST DO in the U.S. Army! This exercise develops the ability to pull the body upward while hanging with an alternating grip.
- Keeping the body straight, pull upward, allowing the head to move to the left or right side of the bar and touch the left or right shoulder to the bar.
- Return to the starting position.
A proper chin-up (a chin-up is not a pull-up) is one of the best upper body exercises because it works so many different muscles at the same time. It’s known as a compound exercise because it works more than one joint — your elbow and shoulder joints have to do an incredible amount of work to pull you up to the bar.
- Grab the pull-up bar with the palms facing your torso and a grip closer than the shoulder width.
- As you have both arms extended in front of you holding the bar at the chosen grip width, keep your torso as straight as possible while creating a curvature on your lower back and sticking your chest out. This is your starting position.
- As you breathe out, pull your torso up until your head is around the level of the pull-up bar. Concentrate on using the biceps muscles in order to perform the movement. Keep the elbows close to your body.
Time to work those shoulders real good. The behind-the-neck pull-ups can be a bit difficult, but the payoff is worth it. The range of motion is a bit different than most other pull-ups, and the middle of your back is gonna feel it here.
Wide-grip is where it’s at; once you’re ready and your arms are fully extended, pull yourself up and let them come behind you rather, rather than in front. Don’t over-extend your neck, and make sure you don’t feel any pain while doing this exercise… unless it’s a good pain.
- Grasp the pull-up bar with your hands a bit less than 2 shoulder widths apart. Keep your entire body straight and extend your knees. This way you can’t create momentum with your legs. Also contract your abdominals slightly (don’t hollow your back). Start with your arms almost extended.
- Then pull yourself up in front of the bar and exhale. Let the upper back or the neck touch the pull-up bar. Don’t swing your legs or hollow your back.
- Move back down slowly and inhale at the same time. The down motion should be slower than the up motion. If you let yourself fall, you can injure your elbows.
Same as the wide grip pull up, just on the money bar.
- Take a wide grip on a monkey-up bar, hanging freely with your arms extended. This will be your starting position.
- Pull yourself up by flexing the elbows and adducting the glenohumeral joint. Do not swing or use momentum to complete the movement. Attempt to get your chin above your hands.
- Pause at the top of the motion before lowering yourself to the starting position.
Hammer grip pull ups are easier on the wrists and shoulders and strongly recruit both the biceps and brachialis, as opposed to just the biceps (as in chin-ups) or the brachioradialis (as in pull-ups).
- Start off standing in front of a assisted pull up machine and grab the hammer grip section of the bar.
- Lift your feet up off of the floor and pull up slowly, squeezing tightly on your lats until your shoulders are at level with your head.
- Hold this position for a count then return back to the starting position.
Close grip pull ups are an awesome exercise that work later, biceps, shoulders and forearms.
- Grab the bar with a shoulder width grip (or slightly narrower), the palms facing away from your face
- Pull yourself up by flexing the elbows and extending the arms until the bars is adjacent to the upper part of your chest and try to get your body as high as possible to achieve optimal contraction of the muscles included.
- After reaching the peak position, lower yourself in a controlled and slow manner until you return to the original position. Repeat
My personal personal training routine consists of BJJ, Grappling, MMA & Boxing. Everyone who has ever done those sports in a competitive manner, knows you can’t do them everyday. Pull ups are a great way for me to train my body, without “over training” it. I personally try my very best to avoid weight lifting and have never been a fan of it. Therefore I train at least once a week on the pull up bar. After doing some warm up I straight go for the pull up bar. I call my routine “ladder” I start with 1, then 2, 3, 4… all the way up to 10 – from there I go down again 9,8,7… until 1 – it’s an amazing exercise and if you can’t go straight away from 10 then do 3 (1-2-3-2-1) and then go up from there.