Pull Ups Exercise

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Pull ups Exercise - Exploring the Pull-Up

By Charles Staley, B.Sc, MSS
Director of Staley Training Systems

I love pull ups in all forms - chins, pull-ups, parallel grip, low reps, high reps, weights strapped to my waist. Over the years I have done a lot of experimenting with this exercise, which involved high-tension heavy eccentrics and plyometric loads.

My affection for pull ups exercise stems from the fact that I’m good at it (I can do about 12 to 13 reps weighing 215 at age 49) nothing to write a press release about, but still not bad.

There are plenty of more objective reasons for doing pull ups:

  • The pull-up is modifiable: you can use two arms, one arm (maybe), supinated, pronated, neutral grips and even thumbless grip.
  • pull ups exercise,

  • Pull-ups allow you to use less than your bodyweight, your full bodyweight or you can do them weighted.

    You can use all kinds of bars: thick, thin, gymnastic rings.

  • Variability is very important because it allows you to perform pull ups exercise year after year, without getting mentally tired of them or burning out your connective tissue.

Pull Ups Exercise - Technical Tips

Here are some technical tips on how to do the perfect pull-up:

  • If you are swinging too much when you do pull-ups, make sure that you’re not flexing your hips.
  • Some people only touch their chin to the bar, as opposed to clearing the bar (going past it) with the chin. I suggest you employ the latter tactic. Here is why: if you don't clear the bar with your chin, you will miss out on the chance to depress your scapula with your lower trap muscle fibers, (this is required to go from a "chin touching" to a "chin clearing" position). Depressing your scaps is good for overall shoulder health, so try to clear the bar instead of just touching it with your chin.
  • There are so many myths and misunderstandings with respect to hand spacing. Most of these misconceptions focus on the incorrect assumption that wider spacing makes your lats wider, while narrower spacing makes your lats thicker.

    The best recommendation is to use a natural spacing, which allows for the most comfort and better freedom of movement. One way to find this natural spacing position for yourself is to reach up. Your intuitive choice of spacing will be correct, if you don't overthink this whole spacing issue.

  • This next point is something I have learned from experience, but not something I can prove to you. However, if you try it, you will prove it to yourself. Here's what I am talking about: when you are doing chins and pull ups exercise leave more reps in your energy "tank". I like to leave at least 2 reps to spare on every set because on every rep you want to instill confidence and mastery — not humiliation and agony.
  • What if you’re really close, but still can’t quite perform a chin-up? Well, lucky for you I have left the best tip for last. Here it is: muscles are much stronger when they contract right after a pre-stretch (called "stretch-shortening cycle". This is why we crouch immediately before a jump and it’s also why we quickly coil our arm back before we throw a ball. Thus, if you have never done a full chin-up but you’re really close, try standing on a platform (box) and lower yourself slowly first, then try to pull yourself up to the bar.
  • -------------------------------

    pull ups exercise, About the Author

    Charles Staley is a renowned strength and performance coach whos clients call "The Secret Weapon" because of his ability to see what other coaches miss. His training methods are ahead of their time and quickly produce serious results.

    Visit Charles' site and grab 5 FREE videos that will show you how to literally FORCE your body to build muscle, lose fat and gain strength with "Escalating Density Training", Charles' revolutionary, time-saving approach to lifting that focuses on performance NOT pain.

    Visit www.staleytrainingprograms.com

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