Want to build up muscle but not seeing any results? Give this back exercise a try!
If you’re still wondering why you’re not building and toning, chances are you spend time in the gym doing too many crunches and bicep curls. If you want serious total body mass, you’ve got to incorporate the large muscle groups in the body. Squats and deadlifts take the game in building lower body mass and aiding in upper body building, while pull-ups complete the trifecta of exercise you should be doing.
Today I’m going to focus on three pull-up variations you should progress through in your workouts. As you work to target your latissimus dorsi, you’re working ten other smaller muscle groups, including the triceps. Talk about multitasking!
As you’re gaining strength, assisted pull-ups are a great way to approach this exercise. What you’ll need to get started is an assisted pull-up machine or pull-up bar with a heavy resistance band.
Grasp a pull-up bar or handles on the widest grips—overhand.
On an assisted machine, place your feet or your knees on the support pad and lower it down until your knees, hips, and shoulders are in a straight line. This is your starting position. (If you’re using a hanging resistance band you’ll place one foot or knee into the band to help support your weight.)
Pull your body up until your neck reaches the height of your hands and squeeze to engage the back with a pause at the top.
Lower your body down until you reach the starting position.
Bodyweight pull-ups are the king of all exercises. In addition to building strength and muscle, it is a big feat to be able to do multiple successful reps of pull-ups. Be proud that you’re at this point!
Grasp a pull-up bar on the widest grips—overhand.
Let your legs hang below you without touching the ground. You can cross your ankles and keep your knees slightly bent.
With your body hanging and your arms fully extended, engage your core and your back to pull your body up until your neck reaches the height of your hands. Squeeze and engage at the top before slowly lowering your body back down to a full hanging position.
Take an already awesome exercise to another level with this over-the-top variation to pull-ups. Weighted pull-ups simply mean you’re adding to the weight of your own body. You will want to start light (5–10 lbs) and work your way up as you build strength. You can use a waist belt to hold the weight or, if you’re using lighter weight to start, you can hold a dumbbell between your feet or knees.
Begin the same way you would with bodyweight pull-ups.
Leg the weight hang off of your waist and complete as many full pull-ups as you can.
Drop the weight and continue to pull up until you reach failure.