These 7 points explain why we think Pull Ups are magnificent;
1. They strengthen your grip. Which may seem a bit of an odd benefit, but having a stronger grip will improve the strength in your forearms, both of which will allow you to control the weights better in your training sessions. Further to this, strengthening your grip will allow you to lift heavier loads down the line to really push your training to the next step.
2. They improve Posture. This is because they work the upper posterior chain of muscles which are often pulled into a relaxed, lengthened state due to dominant pectorals, which become dominant as a side effect of the modern lifestyle. Almost everything requires extended periods of sitting, controlling a computer or vehicle, and sometimes all 3.
3. They can be done in a wide variety of places. As long as there is something of a suitable height for you to hang from, it’s suitable pull up territory. Combined with press ups and squats, pull ups make for a very challenging, yet brutally simple workout.
4. They are a bodyweight exercise. This means that other muscles will work alongside your back muscles to help push out the reps. Your core has to act as a sturdy platform for everything to work from, which also adds to the benefit of doing pull ups.
5. There are many variants. This makes it easy to inject variety into your sessions. Whilst predominantly your back and biceps will do the brunt of the work, the slight variations will expose your joints to obscure working angles which they may not be used to. This can sometimes be enough to bust that plateau you might have hit a couple of weeks ago.
6. They build strength and endurance. This is because they are a multi muscle multi joint exercise, meaning groups of muscles have to work as a chain or team. As we’ve previously pointed out, using more muscle requires more oxygen so that the chemical reactions associated with muscle contractions can keep occurring, thus developing aerobic endurance.
7. They develop pull specific power. This is because they utilise the pull chain of muscles to complete each rep. A pull up should be a clean, crisp movement from the dead hang, up to the bar, and returning back down under control. This precise movement combines speed and strength, resulting in powerful contractions. Don’t be tempted to ‘kick’ your way up to the top.