Why you should integrate pull-ups into your workouts
Anyone who wants to study at the German Sport University in Cologne has to pass the legendary qualifying test. A hard day with many tests. And the test that particularly many fail is pull-ups. But even those who don’t want to study there should definitely integrate pull-ups into their training.
Pull-ups are highly effective
Along with push-ups and squats, pull-ups are among the absolute classics of fitness exercises. Everyone should be able to do them. They are pretty demanding but definitely one of the most effective exercises for the upper body. Pull-ups are an essential indication of how fit you really are because they show your so-called relative strength. The following muscles are used:
The correct technique for pull-ups
In the classic variant of pull-ups, you grasp a bar in an overhand grip or a side grip around the handles provided for this purpose. Your hands are slightly more than shoulder-width apart. Your arms are extended, knees bent, and feet crossed to improve stability. From this position, bend your elbows, pull your shoulder blades together and pull yourself up. You should not use your legs or hips to gain momentum. Raise the body vertically until the chin is above the hands. Keep your shoulders down at the back. Pause briefly at the top and then lower slowly and in a controlled manner.
The most critical requirement for pull-ups
Why even well-trained athletes fail to do pull-ups has an extraordinary reason: They cannot actively fix their shoulder blades. This is always the case when you pull your shoulders up to your ears during the exercise. It should be evident that this is not particularly good for the shoulders or the neck. So if you are doing pull-ups and have not yet mastered shoulder fixation, you should first do other exercises.
How to prepare pull-ups
The best exercise to build up the strength needed for pull-ups and learn how to fix the shoulder is rowing exercises. You can do them with dumbbells, barbells, exercise bands, or pull ropes. You can also lie down under a stationary table, grasp the edge of the table with your hands and pull yourself up. Some gyms have machines to rest your knees on a stool with a spring or spiral pull. Then you don’t have to use your whole body weight. Another good exercise is lat pull-downs.
How to integrate pull-ups in your workout
If you do strength training at least twice a week, you can integrate it very well into your training as a highly effective exercise. However, you need to be quite fit to do it.
- Women and men do 3 x 8 repetitions with 60 seconds rest each.
- Depending on your fitness level, you can change the grip position.
- A wide grip trains more the large back muscle.
- A narrow grip additionally trains the smaller muscles in the shoulder area.
- Superfit people can also do it with additional weight or on rings.
- You can also do the exercise in an underhand grip. For this, you need muscular biceps.