Benefits Of Pull Ups

Pullups are a brilliant upper body compound exercise which put a heavy amount of stress on the upper body muscle groups. They are often considered the upper body equivalent of squats, which as we know are the number one lower body mass and strength building exercise.  Along with stimulating growth, there are also many benefits to the pull-up:

Pull Up Benefit #1 – Compound Exercise

assisted pull upCompound exercises are some of the most important as they target multiple groups at the same time. They also trigger growth hormone release and as mentioned previously, they are widely considered squats for the upper body. They are also one of the best exercises to build up your lats, meaning that if you want that V shaped back, pullups are definitely a must!

They are also superior to using a pulldown machine as they are for more difficult to perform, thus stimulating more muscle fibres.  In fact, even assisted pullups are better for you then pulldowns and are a good way to build the strength if you struggle to perform a full pull-up at first.  It is often the case that you will walk into the gym and see the pulldown machines occupied while areas to perform pullups of free, thus making them a no-brainer.

Pull Up Benefit #2 – Progression

As you may know, the key to building muscle and strength is increasing the intensity of your workouts by either increasing repetitions or moving more weight. Some exercises are difficult to progress in but pullups are one of the easiest. Once you get to the point where you can lift yourself a good dozen times without any weights, then it’s time to step it up by adding some additional weight. You can hold a dumbbell between your ankles but this can difficult and is limited to quite a low weight. The perfect option is to get a weight belt for dips as these are designed to be used for pullups as well.

pull up benefits frontPull Up Benefit #3 – Variation

Another great benefit of the pull-up is that there are different variations, all of which can be used without any additional equipment. By changing the variation of your grip, you can hit different areas of the upper body. The wide grip is the best for the lats and so greatly helps in building a V shaped back. A close grip also works the back is less concentrated on the wider back and more on the biceps. While a reverse grip (chin up) puts the most emphasis on the biceps. So if you want bigger arms then chin ups are good for you. Many lifters will use a variety of these types of pull-up in their routine.

Pull Up Benefit #4 – Grip Strength

Grip is important for your exercises. This is especially true if you intend to head into the realm of powerlifting i.e. for dead lift. Pullups are a great exercise to test and also strengthen your overall grip. It’s a good idea to use some gloves or foam pads, especially if you’re a beginner as you may have trouble gripping the bar after a few reps. Straps are also a great option if you struggle with your grip.

Pull Up Benefit #5 – Convenience

They are a very convenient exercise as they can be performed in a wide range of places. All that is required is a horizontal bar. Many people utilise any sort of bar they can find and wedge it between two places and there are many pull-up bars available on the market suitable for home use.

Pull Up Hints

  • Try to avoid swinging your legs. Some people keep their knees bent or cross their legs as they perform pull-up this is sometimes a comfort thing but it also reduces the risk of hitting your feet into the floor as you lower yourself
  • As you become better at the pull-up, when you are in the down position, try lowering yourself as far as possible to really stretch the lats