Pull-ups are a total body exercise that offer numerous health and physique benefits. Just about everybody knows what a pull-up is...grip the bar so your body is suspended by your hands and pull yourself up. Pull-ups are simple, though that does not mean they are easy. The challenge is well worth it: not many movements work so many muscles at once.
Pull-ups provide a workout for a majority of the upper body. The primary heavy-lifters for the pull-up are the biceps and the lats. In reality, the pull-up works the entirety of the back, from the lower back all the way up to the trapezius and the neck, as well as the rear and lateral deltoids (shoulder muscles). Even the forearms get their fair share of work. After all, they are supporting the weight.
The pull-up is also an excellent exercise for the core. In order to keep the body straight and rigid, the core needs to be active and engaged during the entire movement.
A Natural Movement for All
What is more natural than hanging from a bar or a tree branch and simply pulling up? Although the pull-up is a simple exercise, it takes a fair amount of strength. It is due to the simplicity of the movement that makes pull-ups easy to modify. Assistance can be added by using resistance bands, machines, or even trying negative pull-ups.
Doing sets of negative pull-ups are a fantastic way to build up to a full-fledged one. A negative pull-up is the eccentric portion of the rep, or simply the lowering portion of the movement. Start above the bar and slowly lower to the bottom position to build the strength to complete a full rep.
If pull-ups are too easy, weight can be added easily with either a weight belt or by holding a dumbbell between the feet. Wide-grip pull-ups and one arm pull-ups are also easy ways to increase the challenge.
In today's world, people spend most of their time sitting. Excessive sitting leads to posture issues such as rounded shoulders, slumped neck, and back ache. Because pull-ups strengthen the upper and middle back as well as the rear shoulder muscles (deltoids), they provide a solid foundation of strength and help pull the shoulders back. Pull-ups also stretch out the chest and anterior deltoids which can become excessively tight in many people due to constant sitting, texting, driving, etc.
Feel Better, Look Better, Perform Better
Adding pull-ups to an exercise routine is a fantastic way to improve overall upper body and core strength. To counter the effects of sitting all day and to improve posture, pull-ups are a must-have in any workout routine. Contact Merritt Clubs for more workout tips and information.