Discover Your Perfect Pull-up Option

The pull-up from the outstretched arm to the horizontal bar is a phenomenal exercise for the back, arms and body. But there are several ways to do this, and I’m not just saying that pull-ups and pull-ups are two different exercises from a technical point of view. There are countless options to make the movement harder, easier, or more fun. Let’s dive in.

The basics of pull-ups (and pull-ups)

The standard pull-up is done with your palms facing away from you. Place your hands on a bar more than shoulder-width apart, then do a dead hang with your arms and shoulders extended out to the sides and your body dangling. Pull up until your chin is over the bar – that’s all.

The pull-up is the same, except that your palms are facing you. You may need a narrower handle for these. The starting and ending positions are the same as the fact that you pull up and then lower to the beginning to start another rep. Pull-ups are a little easier than pull-ups, so you can do more reps, but otherwise they are very similar exercises that work similar muscles.

Some chin-up bars also allow for a neutral grip with the palms facing each other. You can also do pull-ups on gymnastic rings. The rings make it a little easier to grip – you can rotate the ring as you move, but they are harder to stabilize as the rings can wobble as you move.

Lighter pull-up options

If you can’t do a lot of regular pull-ups (or pull-ups) just yet, don’t worry. There are many variations that are easier to perform than the standard pull-up.

Negative (eccentric) pull-ups work the same muscles as regular pull-ups, but you will use your muscles to slow the descent, not pull up. To do this, either jump upstairs or stand on a box or bench. Start with your chin over the bar and work your way down to dead center as slowly as possible.

Boxing chin-ups allow you to work in an upward direction while giving you a little push at the same time. Place a box or bench so that you can support your foot during the exercise. Pull up and push the box just enough to keep you moving up. Over time, you will be able to use less and less leg assistance.

Shoulder chin-ups are a good way to practice the lower half of the pull-up. The first thing your body needs to do in pulling up is to engage your shoulders. The muscles in the upper back do this work even before the arms are used. So hold onto the bar and activate your back, pretending to push the bar with your straight arms. This is the whole reputation; go back to dead hover and do some more.

The bent arm suspension helps with the top of the pull-up. It’s easier to hang at the top than to climb there in the first place, so jump or climb there and just see how long you can keep your chin over the bar. Timing yourself is a great way to keep track of your progress when you don’t need to count reps yet.

Bandage chin-ups can be an alternative to box chin-ups if you don’t have a comfortable block, but many coaches say this is a less effective option. Either hang a long, sturdy resistance band from the pull-up bar, or run it through the rack below you if you have a setup that allows you to do this. The elastic helps the bottom more, so be sure to do additional pull-ups on your shoulder blade to complete your routine.

Machine-supported pull-ups are an accessory that helps build muscle in your upper body, but don’t expect them to lead you to pull-ups on their own. The machine stabilizes the lower body, which means the core doesn’t have to work that hard. If you are using a chin-up machine, consider it a secondary exercise (to build muscle in your arms and back) and not specifically a chin-up workout.

Ballistic variations

If you’re just training for strength, you can skip this section. But once you get the hang of the strict pull-up, those curious about CrossFit might want to try the bow-tie curl or pull-up.

The idea behind these variations is to use impulse to do more reps and get them done faster if you timing. While purists may scoff at their “trickery” or “fake pull-ups,” it is a complex skill that requires explosive activity and coordination, and no one does these movements without being able to do the rigorous ones first, so take it easy. This is an important skill to master if you want to compete in this particular sport.

Chin-ups use leg impulse to move the center of gravity of the body in an S-shaped trajectory, accelerating towards the bar and then pushing away from it to begin the next rep.

Butterfly chins also use momentum from the legs, but instead of approaching the bar from below, you force your center of gravity to move in an almost circular motion, sliding down past the bar with each rep and then back up again when you get to the bottom. …

More complex options

Weighted pull-ups are the same as regular pull-ups , but heavier. Wear a weighted vest or hang your plates from your diving belt. You can also squeeze a dumbbell between your legs or squeeze a bumper between your knees.

For hockey or commando pull-ups , you use a standard bar, but you stand at a 90-degree angle to your normal position. Grasp the bar with both hands close to each other (your palms will point in opposite directions, as with an offset neutral grip) and pull up so that the bar is over your left shoulder. On the next rep, move to the other side so that the bar is almost touching your right shoulder.

Pulling up a corncob or typewriter involves sliding side-to-side at the top of the movement, as if you were eating your way over a corncob or simulating the feeling of being in a wheelchair on an old-fashioned typewriter.

Archer’s pull-ups also make you move from side to side, but in a different way. When you pull up, bend only one arm and keep the other straight. A straight arm will hold a very small portion of your weight, and at the top of the rep you will look like an archer ready to shoot an arrow.

Pull-ups are carried out with the seat L, when your feet are exposed in front of you, so that your body has the shape of «L» capitalized. This is additional work for your kernel.

Towel pull-ups allow you to hold onto the towel draped over the bar instead of holding onto the bar itself. This is very difficult for you. You can use a separate towel for each hand if you need a wide grip, or one towel that you hold with both hands.

One-arm chin-ups are the final completion of all this work. You need strong arms, a strong back, and a strong grip, but when it all comes together, you can pull yourself up by grasping the bar with one hand. Grab your wrist with your free hand, or throw a firm lunge with your non-working hand free.


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