If in addition to jogging or push-ups, there is another familiar exercise that is just starting to enter the training path for all of us, which is the pull-up exercise.
Pull up is a familiar “first” exercise for all fitness believers. But do you know all the great effects that the pull-up bar brings to the body? Let's explore with BellyFatzone in this article!
Many fitness experts agree that pull-ups are the king of upper body exercises. It works most of the upper body muscles at once, so it's a must-have for every gym, no matter if you're a beginner or a seasoned veteran.
Along with the rise of street fitness and calisthenics, pull-ups are also developing more and more variations and are loved everywhere.
A bit magical isn't it! So why is the pull-up so popular? This seemingly simple exercise turns out to contain countless great benefits for your muscles and physique, let's discover it now!
Pull-ups are complex exercises that mobilize many muscles at the same time
“Complex exercise” is a term to refer to movements that require multiple muscle groups to work together. And pull-ups are a prime example of that.
At first glance, it may seem like it only works the broad back (lats), but in reality, you have to use other muscles of the upper back (trapezius, sphincter, rotator cuff) as well as the shoulder area, forearms, back arms, forearms, hands, and even core muscles.
Pull-ups mobilize the strength of the entire upper body. It trains your body to know how to coordinate many muscle groups to perform the right movements, thereby improving all-around strength and ensuring the balance of the body.
That also helps distribute your weight evenly across different muscles, ensuring your muscles and joints are safer than exercises that focus on only one muscle group.
And in addition, because it is a complex exercise that uses many muscle groups, pull-ups are the perfect choice for those who do not have much time to practice. A session of pull-ups with proper technique can replace many other exercises in less time.
Pull-ups help your body look more “popular”
Most people who are new to the gym focus on the “front” muscles such as chest, shoulders, arms, abdomen … and ignore the back, because they think that the muscles in the back do not contribute much to the physique. Perfect fit like a supermodel.
But did you know that the broad back – also known as the lats – is the widest muscle in the body? If you've seen the footage of Bruce Lee, you're probably not unfamiliar with the butterfly-like figure when the legend tenses up his back muscles.
Superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is no less competitive when it comes to muscles that not many football players have:
Similarly, bodybuilders also score very high if they have “terrible” bucket muscles like this:
With pull-up exercises, you can completely achieve a desirable body, because simply the large back muscles will help the whole upper body look more “big”. But remember to incorporate lower body exercises so that the body is not out of balance!
So what about the ladies? Don't worry about the “rough” body shape when the lats are large, because the genetic structure and muscle development of the sexes are different. Women can still increase strength with pull-up exercises while maintaining a slim and toned body as desired.
You can pull up the bar almost anywhere, anytime
One of the factors that make the barbell so popular is its ease of practice. Compare with pull-down, weightlifting exercise has the same effect. If pull-down requires specialized equipment at the gym, with pull-ups, the only thing you need is a place to hold your hands.
You can do pull-ups with a bar in the park, a sturdy tree branch in the garden, or even a set of stairs at home like this:
In addition, you can also buy “wall-mounted” beams attached to the door frame that is very popular today. Simple, sure, and affordable too.
Now there are no obstacles to stop you from doing pull-ups, right! Whether in the countryside or the city, no matter how tight the house is, there must be a door frame to attach this beam. No more worrying about rain!
Pull-ups have many variations to help you never get bored
Doing the same exercise over and over again not only erodes your motivation, but it can also have a negative impact on your performance, from stagnation, never getting up to the risk of injury musculoskeletal pain.
With pull-ups, you won't have to worry about that anymore. Depending on your strength level and technique, you can choose to “swap up” each of your workouts with a variety of variations of this exercise.
For example, if you are at 15 “standard form” pull-ups, you can upgrade by switching to the “archer pull up” style with the weight on one hand as shown below:
And if you have reached the “pro” level, one-arm pull up is a challenge for you:
Furthermore, each variation focuses specifically on a certain muscle group. So you can strengthen a particular muscle to your liking while maintaining the complexity of the exercise.
For example, wide fist (increasing difficulty for shoulders), chin up (focusing on forearms), muscle up (using back muscles a lot)… All kinds of genres to meet your needs!
But what if you're a beginner and can't get on the bar even one? Don't worry, use a rubber band for support or try the “reverse pull-up” version – stand on a chair to grasp the bar and then slowly lower your arms down to build stamina before actually pulling up the bar, as illustrated below.
It's important to remember that no matter how you “change” it, you still have to maintain the correct form. Don't rush into more difficult styles until you've mastered the current style.
The mentality of most practitioners wants to increase the difficulty quickly, but if you practice incorrectly, it can easily cause unfortunate injuries.
Another way to increase the difficulty of pull-ups is to wear weights. You can use a professional weight belt, clip weights with your feet, or simply wear a weighted backpack.
Such an increase in resistance will help you improve a lot! Once you get used to this difficulty, you'll be surprised how many reps equal your “real” bodyweight without weights.
Pull-ups help increase hand grip and forearm strength
A common mistake of the gym is forgetting the forearms and hands. They often assume that other exercises such as biceps curls or lifting weights are enough to work these parts. As a result, when lifting heavier weights, they often don't have enough strength to hold the bar in their hands.
Pull-ups are a great exercise to overcome this problem. When doing barbell exercises, your hands and forearms have to work hard to keep your entire body against gravity. Obviously, that's many times more difficult than holding dumbbells a few pounds?
When you switch from weightlifting to pull-ups, you'll immediately notice a difference in your hands and forearms. The feeling of tightness and pain indicates that these muscles must be working at their maximum, and gradually your fist will become as stiff as a pincer.
Once you've trained such a “terrible” grip, you will progress very quickly in exercises like the deadlift, bench press or simply winning easily when playing arm wrestling with friends.
Pull up bar helps strengthen the back firmly
One of the reasons for back pain and bad posture is weak back muscles. A sedentary lifestyle, sitting a lot makes these muscles less active and lose strength, so they are no longer able to keep the spine straight.
Pull-ups not only help you have a beautiful body but also strengthen the back muscles as well as the core muscles. These muscles work to straighten the spine and give you a confident, mature appearance while maintaining better balance for the whole body.
Another very important aspect is “functional strength”, the ability to use muscle strength in everyday life, not just in the gym. In other words, practice to serve life.
Strong back muscles thanks to the pull-up bar will help a lot when you need to climb or lift, pull heavy objects without fear of injury. That's because these activities also use the same muscles as when doing pull-ups. The plus point is too big, isn't it!
Pull-ups help support weight loss exercises
Has anyone told you this yet? Of course, this is not the first choice when you want to focus on cardio and lose fat, but it still helps very well for these two purposes.
First, because it is a complex exercise that mobilizes many large and small muscle groups, pull-ups force your body to burn more calories and consume more oxygen. So the respiratory and circulatory systems have to work harder, and you have a moderate cardio workout.
Another way that pull-ups help lose fat is by increasing the body's metabolism. With that said, the broad back is a large muscle, so increasing this mass will increase your metabolic rate, as muscle cells still burn calories even when inactive.
In other words, you will lose fat even while resting. What could be better! Although not as much as jogging or squatting, it is still a “perfect” choice for a bread waist.
For those reasons, you already understand why pull-ups are considered the king of upper body exercises. It gives you a big back, strong shoulders, strong arms, and all-around strength that you can use in everyday life and many other sports.
It's no coincidence that the US Army's Navy SEALs practice pull-ups so much!
With an easy exercise that gives extremely good results like this, you should spend a lot of time practicing, the only thing you need is perseverance to practice every day.
Now, are you full of energy and enthusiasm? Practice pull-ups now and forever!