Of the basic exercises, pulls ups are one of the most difficult, but one of the most rewarding exercises, in my opinion. Pull ups target numerous muscles: the focus of the exercise is on the ‘latissimus dorsi’, which is on the backside of the shoulder region, but many assisting muscles also gain a lot from an exercise as simple as the pull ups. Like me, you will feel a remarkable change in your biceps, your triceps, as well as your abdominal core area, once you start exercising pull ups regularly.
There are multiple variations of the pull ups, each for a different purpose or each higher in intensity than the previous one. I will tell you of some of the more common variations that I recommend to people:
Standard Pull Ups
This is the most basic kind of pull up, which prepares your body for most intense forms of this workout. Standard pull ups target the biceps and the shoulder muscles in particular. A standard pull up is performed by grabbing the bar with the hands shoulder length apart, overhead. Keep your body straight, and using your arms and your core, pull yourself up till the chin is at the same level of the bar. Repeat this a few times.
This variation of the pull ups is designed to target the muscles in the lower region of the shoulder area. As the name suggests, for performing this exercise you need to place your hands close to each other, some eight inches between them. My advice to people new to this exercise: don’t lean backwards; it is important to keep the body straight.
This form of the exercise targets the shoulder and the back muscles, with less focus on the biceps. For this, you need to align yourself in the same position as the one in standard pull ups, but the distance between your hands should be twice of that between your shoulders. The American Council on Exercise suggests focusing on pulling the elbows down to the ribcage while performing this variation.
Chin ups, or chins, is an alternate way of performing pull ups, which are great for your biceps. The way to perform chin ups is to grip the bar not with an overhand, but with an underhand. Your hands need to be the standard shoulder length apart. I would suggest that while doing this exercise, you don’t allow the shoulders to relax; otherwise you will feel pain in the joints. Keep your body straight, don’t lean back or swing in either direction. Keep the movement of your body slow.
Kelvin wears many hats in the fitness and health industry. He believes in a practical, flexible and sustainable approach to bodybuilding. Initially Kelvin had started bodybuilding as a hobby which turned into passion and later, a successful career. He shares his expertise on strength training and body building to help the GFY community.
Leave a comment