Basic Pull Ups and Complexities:
If you want to work out multiple muscles in your back, arms and shoulders, all at the same time, in a single exercise move, you should definitely consider the pull-up. In this article, we will discuss about What muscles do pull ups work.
The basic pull-up is a very simple move and requires very little equipment. All you need is a sturdy bar fitted at eye level in a room. Grasp the bar firmly with both hands, keeping your hands shoulder width apart. Straighten out your arms and let your body hang from the bar. This is your starting position. From this position, pull yourself up towards the bar. Aim to touch your chest at the bar, and bring your chin above the bar. Hold this position for a count of ten and then bring yourself down to the starting position.
Throughout the motion, your focus should be on keeping your body straight without any bending or arching in your back. This is imperative to reduce the strain on your back and will reduce your risk of injuries as well. If you can’t keep your legs straight, maintain a soft bend in your knees or cross your feet. It is important however to ensure that your feet don’t touch the floor until you have completed the routine.
You should also take care to avoid relaxing your muscles throughout the motion. This is important to reduce the load on your joints, which will not only keep injury at bay but will also enable you to perform more reps.
Points to Remember:
When you are starting out, it is very likely that you will not have enough strength in your muscles to support your body weight. This means that you will not be able to pull yourself up completely, or perform the number of reps required. If you find that you are unable to perform pull-ups, you can turn to pulldowns, which help you develop strength while at the same time exercising the same group of muscles.
In order to perform a pull-down, you require either a specialized lat pulldown machine or a pulley with a cable and a bar. To perform a pull-down, you need to position your knees under the kneepads of the machine, ensuring that they fit snugly and that you will not slip. Now grip the pulldown bar as you are keeping your hands shoulder width apart and straighten out your arms.
Other Helpful tips:
If you find the basic pulldown boring, you can always make it more exciting in order to exercise different muscle groups at the same time. This allows you to squeeze more muscle groups in a single move increasing the caloric burn.
Pullups and pulldowns both help to engage the muscles in your arms, shoulders and back. In order to increase their efficacy, you can combine them with various other exercises that train the opposite muscles. You can, for example, combine pullups with dips to train your front shoulders, triceps and chest as well.
Another alternative to dips is a bench press which allows you to work your front shoulders, triceps and chest.