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Benefits of Pull-Ups And How to Work Your Way Up to Your First Repetition

June 30, 2020 3 min read

Pull-ups are one of the most thrilling exercises you can do.

 

There is no other feeling quite like the one you get from pulling your own body up.

 

What’s more, pull-ups are incredibly beneficial and do a great job of strengthening and developing your upper back. The only problem is, getting started with pull-ups can be difficult, especially if you can’t do a single repetition yet.

 

To that end, we’ve put together this short post for you. In it, you’ll learn what benefits the exercise offers and how to get started.

 

Three Incredible Pull-Up Benefits

 

Here is what you can expect to reap from this fantastic exercise:

 

  1. They Strengthen Your Back and Arms

     

    Many trainees use the pull-up as their primary back-builder, and for good reasons:

     

    The exercise doesn’t require any equipment apart from a pull-up bar, you can do it anywhere, the overload potential is incredible, and the exercise develops the width and thickness of the back incredibly well.

     

    More specifically, pull-ups help strengthen your lats, rhomboids, traps, shoulders, biceps, and forearms.

     

  2. They Strengthen Your Core

     

    The first thing most beginners notice when they start doing pull-ups is that it’s relatively difficult to keep their bodies from swinging back and forth. This is primarily because the core is not used to stabilizing the body.

     

    But, as you start doing pull-ups regularly, your balance will improve from workout to workout, and that is precisely thanks to the increase in core strength.

     

  3. They Improve Your Grip Strength

     

    Pull-ups are an incredibly versatile way to improve your grip strength. Hanging from a bar might sound easy enough, but you may find it quite challenging, at least in the beginning.

     

    The great news is, the more you perform pull-ups, the more you will strengthen your grip.

     

How to Get Started With The Pull-Up (Even If You Can’t Do One)

 

What if you can’t do a single repetition? Then what? Apply these three tactics:

 

  1. Start With Inverted Rows

     

    Inverted rows are an excellent exercise that helps you learn how to pull your own body without necessarily having the physical strength to do pull-ups yet. The most convenient option is to do inverted rows on a Smith machine, as it allows you to adjust the height of the bar quickly.

     

    Depending on your strength level, you can start performing inverted rows with an almost upright body. As you get stronger, you can gradually lower the bar you’re pulling yourself on and have your body more and more parallel to the floor.

     

  2. Do Slow Negatives

     

    For the most part, we are stronger on the eccentric portion of exercises. Meaning, you might not be able to bench press or row a certain amount of weight, but you could be able to lower it in a controlled fashion.

     

    When it comes to pull-ups, this means that you can take advantage of the eccentric (lowering) portion of each repetition and build your concentric (pulling) strength.

     

    For example, you can grab a pull-up bar, jump to the top position, and do your best to lower yourself slowly and in a controlled fashion. At first, you might not be able to lower yourself for more than 3-4 seconds. But, as you work on it, you will eventually be able to do negatives for over 30 seconds.

     

    Most people can do their first clean pull-up once they work up to 45-50-second negatives.

     

  3. Use a Resistance Band

     

    Bands are a great way to overcome the lack of physical strength by making the exercise a bit easier. The goal is to loop a band over the pull-up bar, put your feet in it, and do pull-ups as you usually would.

     

    But, thanks to the resistance band, you will find it much easier to do pull-ups. That way, you’ll be able to build strength and movement proficiency that will eventually allow you to do unassisted pull-ups.

     


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