Some people love it, some hate but most of us can agree: the pull up is the ultimate back exercise. Few exercises are as efficient and practical as the pull up and here is why:
- It’s the foundation to a strong and well built back. If you want that nice V-look, the pull up should be your best friend. Once you become strong at this one, you will see your other back exercises go through the roof as well.
- It’s safer than many other machines. This is because you are putting the effort into moving your own body instead of external weights. This makes it easier to control as your body can feel the way it moves. It also benefits your body awareness.
- It’s practical. For the same reason above, since you are moving your own body instead of weights, it is a real world move. The pull up is a movement you may need in real life and even if you don’t, the strength you gain from it may serve you well in many situations.
- It’s easy to modify. You can change your hand placement, assist with the legs, a box, change the speed, type of handles etc. A pull up is not just something for a high level athlete. Even if you’re not able to complete a pull up, adding them to your workout routine is a must. If a pull up becomes too easy, you can easily add weight with a dip belt.
- It’s a complex movement. You utilize many different muscle groups, including your core. This makes it a very diverse and efficient way to train. If you’re not able to do a pull up, don’t spend all your time on the pull up machine. This will take away this element which limits your progress. Instead, use bands or do assisted pull ups on the bar.
- It’s easy to find a place to do it. You can use a strong branch, pull up bar in the doorway, TRX suspension trainer or be creative!
- It gives you phenomenal grip strength. This is a huge benefit which you’ll appreciate in many other situations.
Next time you’re training back, give the pull up some extra love. If you’re having trouble with the pull up, do them early on in the workout for maximum energy!
By Sander Vanacker for FitGuana
Sander Vanacker is a personal trainer, CEO of Bring Back Nature, Inc. and founder of FitGuana. He believes in improving health and wellness by incorporating more nature into our lives, being active and spending more time outdoors.