Often overlooked as the king of all back exercises, STEELFIT regularly sings the praises of our favorite; the pull up. The case has been well established; that there is really no better back exercise than the pull up and its many variations for building that V-shape torso so many of us seek.
The dividends of incorporating pull ups into your programming go well beyond just the back though. Pull ups and chin ups also help build your biceps, shoulders and even your abs. Grip variations, reversing grips and mixing it up a bit works different muscle groups and the benefits are clear. So what muscles are we working and how do we engage them?
- Latissimus Dorsi – This is an obvious beneficiary of the pull up for sure. To get the most, pull your elbows toward your rib cage to work these fan-shaped muscles.
- Lower Trapezius – Activate this area by squeezing your shoulder blades down and back while pulling up.
- Pec Major – Not so obvious. Chin ups for your pecs? Yes indeed. This won’t replace the bench press, but your chest muscles do help raise and lower your body.
- Infraspinatus – This rotator cuff muscle is hard to work generally. Pull ups activate it and help to strengthen this essential muscle for overall shoulder health.
- External Oblique – With strict pull ups or chin ups, you can work these ab muscles. Focus on squeezing your abs as hard as you can to prevent your body from swaying.
- Biceps – A personal favorite of STEELFIT and so much better than curls in front of a mirror. Holding yourself in the “up position for several seconds, doing negatives on the way down and even shifting weight from one side or the other all help to build biceps like nothing else.
Bottom line, pull ups are incredibly simple (not easy though) yet complex and powerful at the same time. They are the purist and most natural way to strengthen and build muscles in your back; we all want lats that resemble wings, no? But, pull ups will also sneak up and surprise you with their profound impact on your arms (biceps and forearms), shoulders and total core.
So, at STEELFIT, we got your back with the pull ups………..but that’s not all we have. Keep pulling!!!