Pull Ups: Building the strength to begin

“Come on!” “Just one more rep!”

Pull ups are a tough workout.

The first time you try one after your teens really teaches you that getting in shape is going to be a real effort.

Thankfully, every journey begins with a single step.

Becoming great at pull ups comes after developing the technique, and the strength in your upper body to do so.

Notice how I didn’t mention arm strength?

In fact, the most heavily used muscles when doing pull ups is your Latissimus Dorsi, which controls movement in the shoulder. However, pull ups also help to build strength in other areas, such as the upper and lower back, the neck, and, of course, the biceps.

“So where do I start?”…I hear you cry.

Well, the first step is getting on the bar. Warm up properly, stretching as many related (and even unrelated) muscles in your body. Then, move up to the pull up bar.

Even if you can’t manage a single rep, don’t worry. Spend some time hanging in place to build up core strength.

Grab the bar, hang for 5 seconds, then release.

Try it again.

Then rest, and possibly move on to a different exercise, focusing on a different muscle group, and come back to it the next day.

Again; grab the bar, and try to hang statically for 10 seconds. Then release. Then try again.

Keep doing this until you can manage 30 seconds easily. Then you can attempt a pull up.

Don’t strain yourself.

If you are unable to manage it, don’t worry. There are other ways to build up your strength before attempting another pull up, if necessary.

Push-ups and assisted push-ups would also help to develop the strength needed in your upper body to help with accomplishing a static pull up.

Once you are able to manage one, build up just as we have done previoiusly, and take it one or two at a time.

It’s important to realise that this will not happen overnight. It might not happen in a week. But within a few weeks, you should be able to complete even just a handful of pull ups.

Incorporate different workouts into your routine to help develop all related muscles. Dips and inverted row exercises are also great for building upper body strength; as are push-ups, in their varying forms.

Good luck and remember to properly warm up and down before and after exercising.