Whether it be a desk, a car or a couch, the average American has plenty of opportunity to sit throughout the day.
Sitting many hours of the day can lead to poor posture as well as weak and tight muscles – especially in the neck, chest and shoulders. If this sounds familiar, or if you simply have an interest to increase your upper body strength, the pull-up and push-up are great movements to consider adding to your regular exercise routine! The information below will review tips to progress a pull-up, specifically. Stay tuned for Stronger than Yesterday: Progressing a Push-Up.
Pull-ups are a strength-based exercise many may remember from grade school. Regardless if those are good or bad memories, there is no better time than the present to learn or improve your pull-up skills.
The pull-up utilizes many large muscles like the latissimus dorsi, deltoids, biceps and trapezius.1 However, pull-ups are not only an upper body exercise, as they recruit abdominal and gluteal muscles, too! The direction the hands face will influence the muscle contribution to your movement. For example, in a strict pull-up, the palms will face away from the body. In a chin-up the palms face the body.1 Overall, practicing these movements can lead to:
The pull-up, although greatly beneficial, can be a challenging movement for most everyone! If you read the last line, and thought “yes!” know you’re not alone. The movements listed below are tips to improve pull-ups. It is worth noting that commitment and consistency to pull-up practice is key to improved skill. These exercises can provide benefits to overall body strength as you embark on your pull-up journey!
1. The Hollow Hold
2. The Hollow Hang
3. Flexed-Arm Hang
4. Eccentric Pull-Up
5. Assisted Pull-Up
Practicing these fundamental movements will encourage the coordination of the muscles involved in the pull-up. Further, these exercises are meant to also help build strength to be able to do a pull-up, or improve current ability. It is incredibly important to note that safety should always be kept in mind. Proper form is key!
If you experience pain in any of these movements do not continue and allow at least one day of rest between training days. If you experience pain that lasts more than a week, click the button below to schedule a free assessment at an Athletico location near you.
The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.
1. Larson, Amber. “Pull Up Vs. Chin Up: A Comparison And Analysis.” n.d. Breaking Muscle. 28 January 2017. <https://breakingmuscle.com/learn/pull-up-vs-chin-up-a-comparison-and-analysis>.
2. Tsatsouline, Pavel. “The Best Upper Body Pull.” 13 January 2013. Strong First. 27 Januray 2017. <http://www.strongfirst.com/the-best-upper-body-pull/>.
3. ACSM Information on: Resistance Training for Health and Fitness. American College of Sports Medicine, 2013.