Muscle group:   The back muscles, the arm muscles

Trained muscle:   Latissimus, biceps, forearm

Focused muscle:   Latissimus

Fitness level:   Advanced, experienced

Type of training:   Own body weight exercises


 

Pull-ups represent one of the basic exercises within the weight training area, together with squats, deadlifts, and bench press. It also is one of the most effective exercises for the wide back muscle latissimus and the brachioradialis of the forearm. It also activates the biceps muscle of the arm significantly. The pull-up is familiar with the exercise lat pulldown.

Pull-ups

Pull-ups exist in many different variations and are very intense. Beginners should not train this exercise.

In its basic version we work out on the pull-up bar. We grab the bar slightly wider than our shoulder width. Tense the muscles of your trunk and pull yourself up toward the chest until your chin is slightly above the bar. Do not work with momentum but in smooth and controlled movements. Go down again to complete one repetition.

Pull-ups toward the chest

Pull-ups toward the chest

 

Make sure to always have your arms slightly bent when you go down. Hanging with extended arms would strain the passive structure of the arms considerably. Also the activity of the latissimus drops to almost zero.

Pull-ups variations

Athletes that yet do not have the strength to perform an entire set of pull-ups can practise the exercise with support. This could be at the pull-up machine where we kneel on a supportive platform that reduces our weight. Or we could support ourselves with our legs on a bench or similar.

Pull-ups with support

Pull-ups with support

 

If you are quite strong and able to perform many pull-ups in one set you could work with wide grip pulling toward the neck. Extra weights intensify the exercise a lot. Use a belt or backpack.

Pull-ups toward the neck

Pull-ups toward the neck

 

Incline pull-ups

Besides a large variety of different grips and weight intensities we can choose from, there also is a different pull-up type. Incline pull-ups are performed with our heels on the ground. We could work out on the bar at the multi press machine or on the edge of a table. Some athletes also use a broom stick fixated on two chairs. Make sure to have your abdominal muscles tensed and your pelvis erected to prevent a hollow back.

Incline pull-ups

Incline pull-ups

 


Antagonist: Chest muscles, triceps

Stretching: Lat stretches, bicep stretch, forearm stretches

 

 

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