What Is A Pull Up?
A pull up is one of the most effective body weight exercises you can carry out. A pull up is where you hang from a horizontal bar and literally pull yourself up from a dead hanging weight position to a position level with the bar. Pull ups are characterised by hand position. A pull up is carried out when you grip the bar with your palms facing away from your body and drag your body up to the bar. A pull up with the palm of the hands positioned facing the body is a chin up.
Benefits Of Pull Ups
Ever noticed how some guys have that manly “v” shaped back? They got that doing pull ups. In truth pull ups are a real test of upper body strength. Many of the muscles in the core, arms, chest, shoulders and back are used simultaneously either as weight bearing muscles or for stability. The effect of this exercise is that you get great upper body tone and shape and real, measurable improvements in strength.
In some cases this one simple exercise motion can contribute hugely to upper body strength helping you bench press more weight, improving bicep strength for curls and strengthening hand grip.
What Muscles Do Pull Up’s Work?
So which muscles do pull ups target? Simple, most of the upper body muscles. Some of the muscles are use for leverage and some are use for stability.
The main muscles targeted for pulling yourself up are the back muscles or Latissimus Dorsi. These start in the centre of your back and sweep around the sides of your ribcage and up to your armpits. This is the muscle that gives you a “v” shaped back. The next movers and shakers are the triceps. These muscles are located along the upper rear of your arms and across the top of your shoulder joint. The final motion of the pull up relies on bicep muscles that are at the top and front of the arm.
Carrying out an exercise regime that includes pull ups will exercise these muscles to the point they will grow in size and strength.
Stability or good form during the pull up motion occurs when you engage abs and pectoralis major (pecs) to stabilise your movement. Although not pushing or pulling as much weight as the major groups they will tone overtime with this exercise and as you are utilising many muscle groups simultaneously they will contribute to a cardio element of this workout. If you want to use pecs to a greater degree with a pull up you can alter your form during the exercise so as you raise you body you do so at an angle with your chest under the bar. This engages the pecs to a greater degree for improved toning.
Using a regime of pull ups as part of your workout will contribute to cardio fitness as well as strength improvements and improved body tone. Over time you should notice the “v” shaped back developing as well as noticing developments in bicep and tricep size. However, these exercises are extremely tough for the inexperienced. If you do not workout regularly even producing one unassisted pull up can be a big task. Check out the cheats tips for developing your pull up workouts to that of an athlete.