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Pull-Ups: The King of Upper Body Exercises

If you want to impress in the gym, knock out a set of strict pull-ups with uncompromising form. You will immediately set yourself apart. Watch most guys "knock out" a set of 10 pull-ups... they don't go down all the way and then don't get their chin over the bar... leaving gains on the table.


Just like any other exercise, I would rather see someone do a modified (easier) version correctly, than them doing the most difficult version poorly. When learning or relearning pull-ups, leave your ego at the door and it will pay dividends your entire training life.


Why you should be doing pull-ups:

1: strengthen the lats, biceps, rotator cuff, and traps

2: Get a "V" shaped back (makes our waist look smaller too)

3: Better grip strength

4: Gain gym rat respect


Building to a strict, unassisted pull-up is a great goal for anyone! But maybe you're not even close and that's okay! Here are a few options to get you started:




1: Banded Assisted Pull-Up

Secure a band over the pull-up bar. Put one foot in the band and then "trap" the band on the foot with your other foot. You don't want the band slipping off... trust me! Over time keep switching out the band to one with less assistance to make them more challenging.




2: Leg Assisted Pull-Up

This pull-up variation can be done in the squat rack with a barbell or using a suspension trainer. Set the placement of the bar or handles where you can hang underneath with arms fully extended and feet on the ground in a low squat position. Simultaneously pull with the arms and the assist your arms by "squatting" up. The goal is to use the legs the least amount possible!




3: Jumping Pull-Up

Biggest point of performance here: Lower yourself as slowly as possible. Find a pull-up bar you can comfortably grab with feet still firmly on the ground with a slight bend in the elbows and knees or stack some plates under your feet if needed. To get the pull-up started do a slight, soft "jump" and then use the momentum to pull with your arms and get the chin over the bar. DON'T hit your chin, face, or teeth on the bar! When lowering, come down as slowly as possible. Repeat.


Find whichever version works best for you to complete 3 very challenging sets of 5.


Check out a quick tutorial here on Pull-Up Modifications and Variations and start crushing your back workouts!


A fun pull-up superset will be featured in Tuesday's 9/13 Daily Gym Programming!


Thanks for reading, Y'all!


-Ben




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