They are the best strength training exercises you can do for upper-body strength & muscle mass. Unfortunately pull-ups & chin-ups are hard to do. Very hard. Don’t be surprised or disappointed if you can’t do one.
Do not perform any exercise without first consulting your doctor. Dress comfortably; wear proper shoes.
- Lats (Latissimus Dorsi)
- Lower sternal fibers of the pec major Posterior deltoid
- Teres major muscles
- Lower traps
- Serratus anterior
- Erector spinae
STANCE / SETUP
The pull up bar should be at a height that requires you to jump up to grab it; your feet should hang free.
Place your hands about shoulder width apart and your palms facing away from you. Hold the bar close to your fingers, not in the palm of your hand.
- Stand below the bar with your feet shoulder width apart.
- Jump up and grip the bar with an overhand grip.
- Bend your knees and cross your ankles for a balanced position.
- Pull yourself up so your chin is level with the bar.
- Lower yourself so your elbows are straight.
- Repeat the movement without touching the floor.
- While you're pulling, keep your body straight without arching or swinging.
- Focus on using your BACK. This is NOT an exercise for the arms.
- You can either bend your knees and cross your feet, as in #3 above or keep your legs straight. Make sure your feet don't touch the floor. If you think this part is tough, just ask Jay.
- Start each rep from a dead hang with straight elbows.
- Clear the bar with your chin on every rep.
- Breathe deep before the first, exhale as you pull yourself up, inhale on the way down.
- Lead with your chest up & keep your shoulders back.
- Look at the bar; not down. Look up to where you're pulling yourself.
Assisted Pull Ups Machine (anti gravitational)
- Set the pin on the desired weight. Pick a weight that will allow you to do 3 sets of 15 reps. This is the only machine that uses a counterweight. That is, the more weight you use the EASIER it will be to lift yourself.
- Stand on the side platforms, and hold onto the outer handles. Lift one knee, and place it on the padded knee rest. Tightly hold onto the handles as you place your second knee onto the knee rest.
- Pull yourself up as far as possible, making sure to keep your abs engaged and your shoulders pressed down and back. Slowly release down until your arms are almost straight.
- When getting off of the machine, be sure to pull yourself all the way to the top first. Keeping your arms engaged, slowly lift one knee and lower it to the side platform, then the other.
- Some professional advise against using this machine. The criticism is usually because it is too easy to use improper form and thereby not improve your lats. If you cannot do pull-ups on a bar this is a great way to start. Be sure to focus on correct form. Keep your back STRAIGHT. Don’t sway. Don’t arch your back. Use slow and controlled motions, BOTH up and down. Don’t DROP down.