how to do a pull up

How to Do a Pull-up: Benefits and Techniques

You're Probably Doing Pull-Ups wrong! 

This article will explain some of the most common mistakes people make when doing pull-ups! These are things that you can work on fixing today to do the exercise correctly and get results! 

Our Expertise

Ethan Day

Plenty of people make mistakes when trying to do pull-ups, I've seen it many times. But apart from hiring a trainer, what else can they do to fix them?

What Are Pull-ups?

You should already know: a pull-up is a bodyweight exercise that involves using your arms to hang on a bar and pulling your body weight off the ground. Pull-ups are compound exercises, meaning it engages numerous muscles at once in one particular movement. While they might seem easy to pull off, plenty of people struggle to do even one rep.

This exercise requires a firm grip, so if you can't hang from the bar for at least 10 seconds, then be sure to build up your grip strength first. Here, I will tell you how to build up upper body strength to do your first pull-ups, as well as the benefits, techniques, and variations.

What Are the Benefits of Pull-ups? There are quite a few

Improves Overall Physical Health

One remarkable thing about this exercise is that it provides an easily accessible and intense workout. A standard pull-up is already hard enough as it is, especially if you're out of shape. If you're a beginner doing them, a few standard pull-ups will give you a brutal workout guaranteed to make you break a sweat and build your upper body.

Low impact Movement

Grip strength is a crucial part of everyday life, so pull-ups are great for improving in that area. Developing good grip strength also builds muscles in the fingers and the wrist. Your wrist, fingers, and forearm all work together to help you hang from a pull-up bar. Arm wrestling, cricket, football, gymnastics, and judo all call for a firm grip, improved by this exercise.

Tone Your Upper Body

After a few months of consistent pull-ups, you will notice a significant upper body transformation. As one of the most efficient body sculpting exercises, you should see improvement in the biceps, shoulders, forearm, shoulders, and muscles. You can achieve the much-coveted V-shape.

Better Health and Mood

Growth hormones are released whenever you do compound exercises, and this is very important for people looking to gain muscles fast. You really can't find many activities that work out that many muscles as the pull-up does.

This healthy exercise improves overall physical health by improving blood circulation, oxygen intake and facilitating toxins' expulsion from the body through sweating. Shoulder bones such as the scapula also get extra fortification due to the constant stress experienced by doing pull-ups.

What Muscles Do Pull-ups Use?

There are several muscles used, including lats. It is considered a compound exercise: beneficial to people who want to gain strength fast.

How to Progress to Your First Pull-up?

Just do five sets of negative pull-ups from the bar every day until you can hang for ten or even fifteen seconds. You either have to practice doing the exercise or doing the easier variation.

Doing only a part of the training means that you have to divide the movement into separate parts. In this case, the exercise consists of pulling yourself up and then lowering yourself down.

Resistance Band Assistance

Resistance bands support assisted pull-ups, pulling you upward and helping you exercise. These bands are helpful to newbies who would like to develop proper form. The best way to do it is to attach the band to the bar with a loop knot, then put your feet inside it.

This way, you can practice using your upper body muscles properly and get used to the movement. If you have a wider resistance band, you can try putting your knees inside it. This way, you're reducing the amount of help you're getting when making an assisted pull.

Isometric Holds

Isometric means the muscles contract but don't move. With this style, you are nearly at the end range position with your chin over the bar, and you hold that position. It works because your shoulder blades are retracted and depressed, and that's the primary function of your lower traps. Isometric happens when the hands are facing away, chin-ups forward. This motion tends to be more comfortable on the elbows.

Negative Pull-ups

Lowering your body while holding a pull-up bar is called a negative exercise. You improve your ability to do the pull-up with this first exercise. To do this, get on a chair or a stool, so your chin is over the bar. After, transfer your weight onto your arms and slowly lower your body down for a dead hang.

The motion should last for at least 2 seconds and be uniform, which means the same speed throughout the exercise. Alternatively, you can do chin-ups and then do a dead hang in the same manner.

How to Do a Pull-up?

There are a few essential things to keep in mind when learning how to do a pull up:

  • Try gripping the bar a shoulder-width apart. It would be best to choose a position on the bar that allows extension and adduction.
  • You don't just bend your arms. You start by pulling your shoulder blades down so your back can attain the required tension. Simply contracting your arms does not target all of your back muscles optimally.
  • There are two different upper body positions for doing this exercise. Some people prefer the upright position, while others prefer arching their backs. The straight pull-up is advantageous for working the core because you put your pelvis back and engage your abs. However, this movement can also be disadvantageous since it can be counterproductive for back muscle stimulation. The arched back targets the posterior chain since it allows your spine to extend during the movement.
  • The position of your legs can either be crossed or not. Crossed legs are more convenient for controlling the action. When using uncrossed legs, your body will need more stabilization, mainly through your core.
doing pull ups

Common Mistakes

  • People fail to go for the full range of motion, focusing only on the exercise at the top or bottom.
  • Some fail to control movement and momentum at all times. You find people swinging and swaying from side to side.
  • Some don't pull evenly from both arms. They make the same mistake by pulling from their sides or allowing one shoulder to be higher than the other when doing the pull-up. Your arms should always be shoulder-width apart.

Questions and Answers

Why Are Pull-ups so Hard?

One of the biggest problems people have when trying to do pull-ups is a weakness in the brachia radialis muscle. This muscle runs from our upper arm down; it crosses and inserts down our forearm. To get better at pull-ups, you need to strengthen this muscle. Reverse curls will also help you improve your pull-up game.

How to do Pull-ups at Home?

You can use a portable pull-up bar to perform pull-ups at home; they are versatile and height-adjustable. The structure height is about two meters, so during pull-ups, you might find yourself bending knees. 

It fits in a small space and ideal for any home, and you can carry it to any location you like. You can also mount pull-up bars to the wall; on any wall where they can be securely screwed in. 

The tower bar is a mini gym station combined into one piece of equipment. The tower pull-up bar consists of a dip station and an adjustable pull-up grip bar.

What Number of Pull-ups Should I Be Able to Do?

A man of average weight should be comfortable doing at least eight pull-ups per day. A man who can do more than 13 reps per day is considered fit and robust.

An average healthy woman should be able to do five pull-ups depending on her age and weight. If she is strong, she should be able to do as many as 20 reps.

Of course, this is a nominal figure. Men and women can start by doing one rep a day and gradually add a rep or two until they can do ten reps. The key lies in building momentum. You will need proper nutrition, plenty of rest, and a stress-free life.

Completing pull-ups every day has many benefits to the human body. Pull-ups incorporate many muscle groups in one workout. The back muscles, for example, are one of the largest muscle groups in the body. We also recruit significant muscles such as the trapezius, rhomboids, deltoids, and shoulder muscles.

Recruiting all these upper body muscles helps the upper back muscles grow uniformly. Do pull-ups daily. When you can do them anywhere, you don't need expensive equipment or a gym membership. All you need is a bar, and you'll be ready to start working out those muscle groups in the comfort of your home or yard.

Should I do Pull-ups Daily?

Executing sets of pull-ups every day opens up the chest. Many people concentrate on bench and dumbbell exercises in the gym that tighten up the gym's chest cavity. The result could be slumping shoulders.

When we do pull-ups, we dynamically stretch out the chest cavity and allow it to expand and grow symmetrically. Pull-ups also tighten the core.

Doing daily pull-ups helps aspiring models get a cut physique as it evens out all the upper body muscles and gives the body a desirable tone.

Doing pull-ups every day also helps stretch your muscles and elongate the spine. Most people with office jobs spend their days hunched over their desks and experience a feeling of compression or slouching.

The pull-up virtually eliminates this feeling by stretching out your tensed neck, shoulders, and back muscles. I always encourage my clients, whether athletes or amateurs, to do pull-ups. Why? It helps them target as many muscles as possible in one exercise session.