Exercise 101 : the pull up bar

Exercise 101 : the pull up bar

Lifting yourself into a pull up isn’t just for marines and body builders. Even if you haven’t done this move since playground monkey bars, it is still possible.

Here’s the lowdown on the pull up.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A PULL UP?

Some say that this exercise is the upper body equivalent of a squat, because it works so many muscles. Pull ups make demands on all the muscles of the back and shoulders, and improve grip strength. More advanced versions also work your core.

PULL UP VERSUS CHIN UP?

There is a difference. For the chin up, your palms face towards you. For the pull up, they face away. Most people find chin ups easier, because they make more use of the biceps which are stronger in beginners to fitness.

NEVER DONE A PULL UP? HERE’S HOW TO START

First, find your pull up bar. At the gym, the staff will show you whether the bar is wall mounted or part of one of the machines. If it is home equipment, make sure it is up to the job!

Here’s the way to get started with the walk-the-plank method.

  1. Get a solid chair or something to stand on. Climb on so that the bar is at chin level.
  2. Grab the bar with palms facing you.
  3. Step off (walk the plank) and lower yourself down as slowly as you can.
  4. Repeat to build strength.

BASIC PULL UPS

Once you can do it, here’s the proper sequence on a bar:

  1. Grab the bar with palms facing away from you, hands a little over shoulder width apart.
  2. Pull yourself up a little so you are hanging.
  3. Now pull until your chin is above the bar. Hold for 10 seconds.
  4. Lower yourself down – no swinging and no dropping.

MORE ADVANCED PULL UPS

Add some work for your abs with hanging circles and hanging bicycles from the pull up bar. If you are out running and passing a playground or outdoor gym, here are some more pull up variations for you.

It can be done! Whatever your level, get yourself to the gym and give the pull-up a try.


The Author

Jessica Ward

Jessica lives in South West London. Boxercise, yoga, pilates, weight training and long distance running are her main interests.

Comments

Sarah L.
8 May 2016

Sarah L.

very encouraging - good to have a 'start from zero' hint because that's me. But if Sasha can do it, so can I.

Sasha B.
3 May 2016

Sasha B.

We have a pull up bar on the doorway at home so I can practice on this. I could do exactly zero at the start of the year. Now I can do five !!

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