Everyone at one time or another has attempted the pull-up. The pull-up is an upper-body compound exercise and is a good test of strength. If you can do a pull-up you more than likely have strength in your back and shoulders. However, it is important to use proper form to protect yourself from injury and to make sure you are getting the most out of your workout. Use these helpful tips to make sure you are using the correct form.
1. Full Range of Motion
Start each rep with your elbows locked at the bottom and end with your chin over the bar at the top. The back muscles are the primary focus when performing pull-ups. Doing partial reps does not allow the lateral muscles to come to a fully lengthened position which encourages the arms to do most of the work. If you are not feeling it in your middle and upper back then you are doing it wrong.
2. Don’t let elbows flare
Keep your elbows at 45 degrees like when you do an overhead press. Don’t let them flare out. Pull yourself up by pulling your elbows down to the floor. This will help to make your lats stronger and more developed. It will also make it easier to get your chest up when the elbows aren’t held too wide.
3. Control your shoulder blades
The hardest part of a pull-up is learning to control your shoulder blades. Pull your shoulder blades back as you’re going through the movement and focus on pulling the bar down. This will tighten the back muscles and prepare you for a proper pull using less of your biceps. Engage the shoulders first by depressing them. This will make the pull-up a back-dominant movement, as it should be.
4. Arch your back and set your shoulders
To work your back properly during pull-ups, think of raising your rib cage toward the bar. Arch your back, and set the shoulders. Also, keep your butt clenched and your abs tight throughout the movement.
If you are not ready for a full pull-up, you can always start by doing assisted pull-ups with an exercise band or chair. Once you have accomplished the pull-up and are using proper form you can always add weight or change your grip to make it harder.
In order to build muscle, make sure you have the proper nutrition. Add Promax bars to your post-workout or pre-workout routine to help replenish your body.