Pull Up Bars
When choosing a pull up bar, it’s always wise to consider the variation of chin up that you’d like to execute. If you are buying the internal to the door frame type, you will only be able to use this for close grip pull ups (in order to work your back and your biceps). This is referring to the apparatus that fits and stretches to only within the doorframe. There are other products available which still fit within the doorframe, however they also have handles that fit outside of the door frame in order for you to widen your grip to work the latimus dorsi when doing a pull up.
Perfect Pull Ups
What is the perfect pull up? Now you’re asking the right question before you buy your pull up bar. Just what is and how do you execute a perfect chin up? There are many ways to commence this exercise and it wholly depends on what your goals are.
So, what is the perfect pull up? This depends entirely on your goal. If you are looking to build muscle mass and strength with your pull up bar, the slower and fuller (i.e. maximum arm extension) with a low rep range is the technique for you. If you wish to build upper body strength and stamina, more speed within your rep and a high rep range is the answer. Remember, your rests between sets are crucial. The longer you rest with the slower and fuller low rep ranges helps, perhaps approximately 30 seconds. If you’re looking for stamina, the higher rep ranges should have around 15 – 20 seconds repetition rest to maintain intensity of your workout. This also applies to weight loss goals.
Muscles that Pull Ups Work
What muscles do pull ups work? Most folk think it’s solely a bicep workout, which it is certainly not. An accurately executed chin up will work the following muscle groups:
- Latimus Dorsi (“lats”)
- Upper Back
The Latimus Dorsi muscles are primarily worked at their most effective when your palms are facing away from you when executing a pull up. By widening your grip, you are in fact concentrating on this muscle group more than the biceps. Your biceps are effectively worked via a chin up when your palms are facing towards you, around shoulder width apart. This is more effective for muscle growth of the bicep. Do bear in mind that a fuller looking bicep cannot be achieved via this workout alone. To ensure you biceps are worked effectively additional to a pull up, why not try to “super set” your chin ups with another bicep routine?
Super Set Pull Ups
A super set is where you combine two workouts into one set of reps. For instance you would execute one set of chin ups, one set of bicep curls and then commit to a rest before your next set. As mentioned, a chin up alone will not fully develop your bicep effectively. Perhaps look to incorporate your pull up with some hammer curls, or seated preacher curls. This is the most effective way to both burn calories (replace with supplements for building or utilise in conjunction with weight loss) and develop lean mass.
Ab Exercises with a Pull Up Bar
Believe it or not, this is a great way to work your lower abdominal muscles. In order to do this efficiently, you need to hang on the pull up bar with your legs dangling. With your legs straightened and taught, raise your legs to around 45 degrees from being parallel to your waist. Simply pull your legs up towards your chest and you will feel the effort required by your lower abdominal muscles to achieve this workout. It is good to superset this with a declined bench crunch for maximum results.