Pull-Ups are exercises that target the upper body, by working on the same group of muscles at the same time, instead of a single set of muscles. With Pull-Ups, the body is suspended by the hands with your palms facing the direction away from your body and the hands pull the entire body off the ground up. In order to do Pull-Ups, you have to hang from the bar making sure that both your arms, which should be placed shoulder-width apart are fully extended. In this position, slowly pull yourself up until your chin clears the bar and then back down and repeat.
It is worth noting however that even though many people find Pull-Ups to be an uphill task, time, effort and consistency will make it easier day by day. One of the reasons why Pull-Ups may be so difficult when starting out could be due to the fact that the back half of the body is more often than not ignored while doing our daily or weekly exercise routines. People focus more on developing their chests, or their biceps, on having a flat tummy or losing weight around their thighs. Another reason could be because of our lifestyles which place our back muscles unengaged most of the time. In the office, at school, and at home, our backs are usually in a slouched position.
A person’s body shape could also affect the ease with which someone could do Pull-Ups. It will be considerably difficult for a person who is heavier on the lower part of the body to do Pull-Ups than for a person who is slender on the lower body. These factors, just to mention but a few make it very difficult to lift your whole body weight from the floor using nothing but your upper body by hanging on a bar. That kind of lifting requires more power than can be achieved by a single muscle.
Top Reasons To Do Pull-Ups
Pull-Ups feature in the list of every top workout program among other compound exercises such as Push-Ups, deadlift, Squats, Chin-Ups, bench press, and Lunges. They are popular both in and out of the field, for athletes, fitness enthusiasts and notably even in military drill exercises. There are many reasons why people chose to do Pull-Ups besides weight management and poor muscle strength. Pull-Ups target your forearms, shoulders to your back, core, and biceps. Pull-ups have been known to effectively help improve the width of an athlete’s back muscles making it look bigger and stronger.
Work Multiple Muscle Groups
Because Pull-Ups involve training a group of muscles at once, where lats, biceps, triceps, forearms, and traps are moving in one direction, it becomes possible to tackle any incident or task that requires you to use your whole body, such as reaching out to the top shelf and picking something heavy or defending yourself against an attack which is one of the reasons why they are very popular in the military. They make your body more functional and effective instead of focusing only on your biceps or chest.
Since you are training a group of muscles at the same time, It saves you a lot of time to get the ideal functional body of your choice instead of only focusing on one set of muscles, improving it and then progressing to the next one. This is ideal for people who busy routines and can only afford limited time, probably two or three times a week at the gym.
Increase Strength and Endurance
Pull-Ups also increase your level of endurance giving your core a great workout. All the movements applied here can be used in real-life situations. To do Pull-Ups, all you need is a bar. This can be placed anywhere in your compound, inside your own home or even in your office. This means that you do not need expensive gym memberships to do Pull-Ups. If you do not have money or time to go to the gym, you can do Pull-Ups in or outside the comfort of your home thus saving both time and money.
Pull-Ups help you develop a strong grip and strength in your forearm. When you train your grip using a series of isolation movements, you are able to effectively tackle many pulling exercises. The way you position your legs, whether you bend them or stretch them, how you grip the bar and the width between your hands will affect your body in one way or another. It is important to practice proper forms and techniques because that is a sure way of preventing muscle injuries. Avoid jumping and kicking during Pull Up exercises so as not to injure your muscles. You need to immediately seek medical attention in the event you start feeling dizzy or any pain in your muscles.
Change Your Physique
If you are an ardent admirer of the V-Shaped physique, Pull-Ups are an excellent way of developing that body type. V-shaped physiques give you a powerful and attractive look. You see these more often with boxing athletes in the ring, bodybuilders and so on. This look is made possible because Pull-Ups engage the latissimus dorsi.
Pull-Ups can help you switch very quickly from a state of inactivity to a state of a high level of engagement and can be done repeatedly without worrying about hurting your joints and tendons because the exercise is performed in the air.
How Often Should I Do Pull-Ups?
In order to know how often to do Pull-Ups, you first need to evaluate your goals and needs. For example, if your target is to increase the level of endurance, then given that Pull-Ups are among the few exercises that don’t have a high risk of hurting your muscles and tendons, they can be done on a daily basis. However, If your ultimate goal is to increase strength or size, then you can allow 24 – 48 hrs of rest in between the exercises so that the body can get more time to heal and grow.
As you train hard, it is also wise to train smart as well by applying efficiency and proper technique execution in order to achieve more growth and avoid ruining your body because “more is not necessarily better”. Two to three times a week will give the body ample time to rest and recover. If you are a beginner, you can start slow and progress with time. Start with one or two Pull-Ups, you can use assisted Pull-Ups using machine or suspension trainers.