This week I’m going to take you through an exercise many people dread – pull ups. They’re like marmite, you either love them or hate them!
First things first, these do take a fair bit of upper body strength, so be sure to do some stretches to start with. Pull ups also require some equipment – usually a bar or a rack if you’re at the gym. There are however some good home devices you can use over a doorway or I’ve even used the monkey bars on occasion if I’ve been at the local park. The main thing is that whatever you use, make sure it can take your weight!
Pull ups work on the upper body but mainly the lats – these are the muscles on your back just below your shoulder blades, also known technically as ‘latissimus dorsi’. They’re an important muscle set and support your torso but also your lower back too.
Most people find chin or pull-ups really tough to start and get ready to feel that burn the next day on your arms and sides of your waist.
How to do a pull up
The perfect pull up:
- Grab the pull-up bar with the palms facing forward. You can vary your grip width but generally your shoulder width to start is just fine.
- Create a slight curve in your lower back and stick your chest out. This is your starting position.
- Now, pull yourself up until the bar touches your upper chest or if you’re just starting out, just aim to get your chin above the bar. Breathe in as you pull up and out as you lower your body down.
- Repeat – for beginners just managing a few reps is a great start. It’s easy to strain yourself so pacing it is the best way to go.
Quick tip – turning your palms so they face away from you before you grab the bar will mean you are doing chin-ups. These bad boys can often seem tougher than pull ups but they’re worth the burn, believe me – especially if you want that extra definition on your pecs and biceps!
So, how did you find this session? Next week I’ll be sharing my best tips for burning fat fast – you don’t want to miss it. Keep working that body guys!
Disclaimer: Before undertaking any exercise or fitness programme please see a doctor or medical professional if you have a medical condition or physical restriction that may make some of Jake’s tips and work out suggestions unsuitable. Jake is not a qualified fitness instructor but a dedicated, fitness enthusiast. If you require advice from a professional fitness expert we recommend you contact your local gym or health club.