The pull-up is a bodyweight exercise that strengthens the muscles in the back, arms, and core. The motion of pulling one’s self up from a hanging position challenges the force production of all the muscles involved in the movement. The exercise can be scaled to provide a great variety of difficulty levels that can be tailored to individual needs.
Since pull-up is a compound exercise, all the upper body muscles, including the lats, traps, deltoids, pecs, biceps, forearms and triceps, are engaged.
Doing pull-ups can be a very good exercise for your back and arm muscles. It can also make you a stronger person overall. For example, if someone is trying to put a heavy box on a shelf, they will need to use their arms and backs muscles to raise it up high enough, and without doing the exercise of doing pull-ups first, that person wouldn’t be as strong as another person who did do the exercise.
Let’s look at some of the benefits:
1) Improves our functional strength
Pull-ups are a prolific exercise that can improve our functional strength. They are also helpful in developing powerful muscles in the upper body, which can help build our stamina, endurance, and flexibility. Not only that, they have been proven to have great benefits for people who suffer from neck pain, shoulder pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and many other chronic pain syndromes.
2) Strengthen the back muscles
Pull-ups strengthen the back muscles. It is one of the best exercises for developing full body strength and it strengthens the core, which is important for not just this exercise but others as well. Pull-ups also help to build strong bones, which is important because it prevents osteoporosis.
3) Strengthen the arm and shoulder muscles
The physical exercise of performing a pull-up works to strengthen the arm and shoulder muscles. A typical pull-up consists of an individual gripping a bar with their arms overhead and then using their upper body strength to raise themselves up so that they are hanging from the bar. To complete one repetition, the individual lowers their body back down until their arms are fully extended, but it is possible to keep going down so that the body forms an inverted “V” shape.
4) Improves physique and posture
Pull-up strengthens an array of muscles, improves posture, and helps to shape the chest and back into a more attractive silhouette.
5) Increase grip strength
Pull-ups are one of the most popular exercises for building strength in the back and arms. Pull-ups can also help with grip strength, which is important for athletes who use their hands to catch a ball or bat. The exercise lends itself to an individual’s fitness level because individuals build up to doing more repetitions or using heavier weights as they get stronger.
6) Improve explosiveness and balance your body
Pull-ups are a highly effective exercise for increasing both explosiveness and balance. In fact, more of the muscle fibers of the spine are used during a pull-up than in any other bodyweight exercise. The more muscle fibers you can recruit to complete an exercise, the better.
Tips for better pull-up exercise:
- When you do a pull-up exercise, it is very important to keep your elbows close to your body throughout the entire movement. This helps to take the strain off of them and also prevents injury. If you cannot do a full pull-up, start by hanging from a bar with your arms at a 90 degree angle while resting on your heels. From here, bend your knees slightly and try lifting yourself up so that your chin is over the bar.
- It will feel more natural to do pull-ups with a wider grip because it puts your hands closer together, meaning that there’s less movement in the shoulder joint. This will also put your biceps on a straight line with your back, which can increase muscle activation.
- Pull-ups with a close hang grip will target more of the outer lats and biceps because these muscles are worked when the arm is in front of the body rather than behind.
- The lats and traps are muscles in your back. When you do a pull-up, the closer your grip is to your body, the more work it does. Pullups with a wide grip target the muscles in your arm pits and the inner part of your back. You can also use an analogy to show how different grips work on different parts of the body.
- Try to keep your legs extended instead of bending them. This will engage your midsection to help with the exercise. You can also do this by bringing one leg up to rest around the other leg around it if you are not strong enough to do a full pull up at first.