Posted on January 29, 2017

People either hate or love pull-ups. If you can do one pull up, it’s probably one of your favorite upper body exercises. If you struggle with the pull up, you may avoid it altogether. Pull ups are the ultimate test of upper body strength!  Most people can’t do one.  This compound bodyweight exercise strengthens your forearms, biceps, core, and back.  It is one of the single biggest ‘bang for your buck” upper body exercises. It is the standard of test upper body strength in many military units.

Barbell exercises are all about moving as much weight as possible and building absolute strength. The pull up builds relative strength.  Relative strength, is strength in relation to your bodyweight. Mixing up pull up variations can lead to new muscle, strength gains, and freshen up your workout if it is getting stale.

Remember kipping is for conditioning, so keep these strict and build strength.  Try these five, equipment free, variations of Pull Ups:

 

Pull Up

Stand facing a pull up bar.  Grab the bar with palms FORWARD and hands about shoulder width apart.  Come to a dead hand, with your shoulders pulled down and back.  Pull your shoulders away from your ears.  Flex your lats and pull hard until your chin clears the bar.  Reverse back to start position and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Staggered Grip Pull Up

Stand facing a pull up bar.  Grab the bar with one hand forward and the other hand backwards.  Come to a dead hand, with your shoulders pulled down and back.  Pull your shoulders away from your ears.  Flex your lats and pull hard until your chin clears the bar.  Reverse back to start position and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.  Make sure to perform equal repetitions on each side.

 

Chin Up

Stand facing a pull up bar.  Grab the bar with palms towards your face and your hands slightly less than shoulder width apart.  Come to a dead hand, with your shoulders pulled down and back.  Pull your shoulders away from your ears.  Flex your lats and pull hard until your chin clears the bar.  Reverse back to start position and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.  The chin up tends to be slightly easier for most people and involves your biceps a little but more than the regular pull up.

 

Close Grip Chin Up

Stand facing a pull up bar.  Grab the bar with palms towards your face and your pinkies almost touching.  Come to a dead hand, with your shoulders pulled down and back.  Pull your shoulders away from your ears.  Flex your lats and pull hard until your chin clears the bar.  Reverse back to start position and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.  The close grip chin up also heavily involves the biceps.

 

Commando Pull Up

The Command Pull Up is performed by standing underneath the bar and grabbing it with a staggered grip.  The bar should be right over your head.  Your body will be in line with the bar, rather than facing it.  Come to a dead hand, with your shoulders pulled down and back.  Pull hard with BOTH arms until your chin clears the bar on either the left or right side of the bar. Then slowly lower yourself back to the start position.  Now pull yourself up on the other side of the bar.   Repeat for the desired number of repetitions. Work both sides evenly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *