The Benefits of Doing Pull-Ups

Pull-ups are an excellent upper body and core strengthening exercise. They are very simple to perform; all you need is a sturdy bar. To do a pull-up, simply hang from a bar either overhand or underhand, keeping tension in your shoulders. Keeping your abs tight, flex your upper back muscles to start moving up, and finish by pulling with your arms and back until your chin clears above the bar.

There are all kinds of modifications you can do, like using resistance bands to make them easier, hold weight between your feet to make them harder, or use your momentum to get above the bar and slowly lower yourself back down (a negative pull-up).

Here are 6 reasons why you should add pull-ups to your workout routine.

Two people doing pull-ups in a gym

1. Strengthen your back, arms, and shoulders

Your back, arms, and shoulders are the primary muscle groups that pull-ups develop. While it is possible to target each of these individually, pull-ups are a compound movement that will work all of them at the same time. If you struggle doing even one pull-up, start by hanging from the bar while keeping tension in all of these muscles. Pull yourself as high as you can and slowly lower yourself back down.

2. Strengthen your core

You don’t just have to do sit ups or planks to work your core muscles. When you do a pull-up you want to activate your core and keep your legs from swinging uncontrollably. Surprisingly, keeping tension in your abs makes the pull-up easier to do.

3. Improve your grip strength

Hanging from a pull-up bar works your forearms in a way that not many other exercises can. If you do enough pull-ups, you’ll be surprised to find that your forearms get fatigued as much as your back, shoulders, and arms!

4. Improve your posture

An added benefit of working your core, upper back, and shoulders is that your posture will improve as well. As your upper back develops, it will naturally pull against normally tight chest and shoulder muscles that can give you a rounded back.

5. Improve cardiovascular fitness

Pull-ups are exhausting. Unlike running or biking, which use your leg muscles to get your heartrate up, pull-ups use some of the largest muscle groups in your upper body. Once you are able to string together 8-12 in a row, sets of pull-ups can be a great way to get your heartrate up.

6. Impress your friends

Face it, not many people can do a pull-up. What better way to impress your friends than to brag about how many your can do (or even that you can do one!)

Adding pull-ups to your workout routine is a great way to build muscle, improve posture, and vary your cardio sessions. If you have any other reasons to do pull-ups, let us know in the comments below!

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