There is such a powerful upper body training action, it can not only exercise the back, shoulders, arms and core muscles, but also increase the body muscle content, increase the metabolic rate, and help lose fat!

But this action, 50% of men and 90% of girls can't do it.

Only those with a well-proportioned body shape and well-defined muscles can control it!

If you can do it, your figure must be outstanding!

This amazing move is the pull-up.

If the squat is the king of lower body movements, then the most powerful and efficient upper body training movement is the pull-up! With every movement, it strengthens and sculpts the muscles of the arms, shoulders, back and core, not only building muscle but also helping to boost metabolism. The strengthening of the back muscles will visually make the waist appear thinner. It can be said to be a very cost-effective action! So, if you can complete a standard pull-up, it means that your body shape and upper body strength are already very good! But in reality, not only girls, but even most boys can't complete a standard pull-up. So, why is it so difficult?

Why are pull-ups so hard?

Limitation 1: Insufficient grip strength

Most people fail at the first level and can't even hold a single bar.
Our brains are smart enough not to signal other muscles to try to pull up on something you can't even hold.

Limitation 2: Poor upper body strength

The reason why pull-ups are difficult is precisely this: not only should the back muscles be activated correctly and powerfully, the forearm muscles should be strong enough, the shoulders should be stable, not shrugged, and the core muscles should be able to tighten.

Usually people with insufficient upper body muscle strength will really face a lot of difficulties when doing this movement.

Restriction 3: Tall and long arms

Studies have shown that men who are taller than average and whose arms are longer than average have difficulty completing pull-ups.

From a biomechanical point of view, it is more difficult for people with tall arms and long arms to do pull-ups. Work done = force x distance.

On the one hand, people with tall arms and long arms need to move more distance than the average person to complete the pull-up, which in turn requires more work. On the other hand, they also need to use longer-lasting muscle strength than the average person to perform a movement .

Limitation 4: Gender Differences

Studies have shown that the upper body strength of girls is 40% less than that of boys, that is to say, in general, a woman's natural upper body strength is only 50%-60% of a man's natural upper body strength.

What is even more irritating is that when the body fat ratio of men and women is equal, it can be clearly seen that women's fat is concentrated in the lower body.

From the perspective of body weight distribution, compared with men, the lower body of girls accounts for a larger proportion of the weight. We all know that people with a large body weight suffer from pull-ups, and people with a heavy lower body suffer even more. But the weight of the lower body is a characteristic of women.

So why do pull-ups?

Since pull-ups are so difficult, why don't you just stop doing them?

why do pull-ups?

1. Growth force

Pull-ups are a good exercise for developing upper body strength. They can not only exercise the latissimus dorsi and biceps, but also the muscles around the shoulder blades and the forearms.



2. Correct posture, perfect body shape

There is a long-standing saying in the fitness industry: "Novices practice chest, masters practice back".

Due to long-term desk work, most modern people will have hunchbacks, high and low shoulders, scoliosis and wing-like scapulae .

This posture is not only not beautiful, but also has problems such as low back pain.

This is all caused by the lack of exercise of the back muscles to adequately support the spine.

Strengthening the back muscles can not only eliminate pain, but also help you keep your head up and your chest in perfect shape.

3. Improve the mobility of the thoracic spine

The thoracic spine is designed for rotation, flexion, and extension.

It's supposed to be highly mobile, and most people's daily sitting in poor posture results in a hunched back, limiting mobility in the thoracic spine, and causing pain in the shoulders, elbows, neck, lower back, and hip joints.

Improve the mobility of the thoracic spine

4. Cool!

To put it simply, boys who can do pull-ups feel very secure and cool!

For the girls, the three views on a good figure have been constantly refreshed in recent years, and the beauty of health and lines has made many girls embark on the road of lifting iron.

And girls who have lifted iron know how addicting it is to unlock the sense of accomplishment that even boys can't do.

Therefore, there are also many girls who also bury their little dream of doing a pull-up in their hearts.

pull up bar

Dreams are meant to be realized, so today I will talk about how you can do a pull-up whether you are a man or a girl.

How to do a pull-up from 0?

To achieve a breakthrough from 0 to 1 pull-up, you can take 5 steps:

1 Suspension - pull up bar suspension

horizontal bar suspension


Action essentials: Grip with palms facing out, arms perpendicular to the ground, core tight to avoid dangling, don't shrug, and bend your knees back if your feet touch the ground.

Repeat 3 sets, each set until you can't stand it, resting 60-90 seconds between sets. If you can hold all 3 sets for 30 seconds, you can advance to the second step.

2 Hanging - hanging shoulder pull-ups

hanging shoulder pull-upsThis is a very important exercise, and it's a great exercise in your ability to rotate and retract your shoulder blades. Doing this exercise regularly will develop your sense of control over your shoulder blades and allow you to better use your back muscles.

Action points: The starting position is the same as the pull-up, grab the horizontal bar with both hands, hang on the pull up bar, and straighten your arms. Then naturally raise the scapula, feel that the shoulder is about to touch the ear, and then activate the back muscles (lattice dorsi, lower trapezius) to rotate the scapula downward and sink. Use the movement of your shoulder blades to feel the sensation of your body pulling up.

3 Strengthen the upper body

Do strength exercises for your back and arms.

Pull-up is a training that needs to be mobilized: the training of multiple muscle groups in the upper body, so the exercise of these muscle groups alone is a good auxiliary training.

Although these workouts have to take more time to work these muscle groups individually than a general workout pull-up, there will be noticeable progress and improvement as the practice progresses.

Reverse rowing

Reverse rowing

Action essentials: Lie on your back under the horizontal bar, support your heels on the ground, your hands are slightly wider than your shoulders, and straight in a straight line, with your arms straight and hold the bar, both forward and reverse. The distance between the hands is 3-6 cm wider than the shoulder width. Keeping your body straight, grab the bar with both hands, shoulders out and chest out. Use the back muscles to pull the body forward and upward with the help of the back muscles and the arms, pull the body towards the bar, pause at the highest point, squeeze the back, and slowly drop after the chest touches the horizontal bar.

Beginners ( high bars ) do a set of 10 reps. When you can do 15 reps, start to increase the difficulty and lower the angle to enter the intermediate level. Intermediate 2 sets of 10 reps each, and then increase the difficulty when you can do 15 reps.

bent over rowing

bent over rowing

The bent-over dumbbell rowing is evolved from the barbell bent-over rowing. At the same time, in order to maintain the balance of the body during the bent-over dumbbell rowing process, more muscles are involved to achieve the purpose of exercise.

Action points: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, bend your knees and lean forward, hold dumbbells in both hands and sag naturally. Using your back, pull your upper arms up so your elbows are over your back, then slowly come back. Each set of 10-12 repetitions, repeat 3-5 sets, rest 30-60 seconds between sets.

4 Eccentric contraction training

The eccentric phase of any strength training will be stronger, even 1.75 times stronger than the concentric phase.

To put it simply, the eccentric contraction training of the pull-up is to complete the second half of the pull-up:

Jump in place, bend your arms to hold the horizontal bar, and then slowly descend in a controlled manner.

Eccentric contraction training

Procedure: Stand on a bench or box, hold the bar backwards, and jump up so your chin can reach the bar. Then, at the slowest speed possible, let the body come down slowly, allowing this process to go through 5 to 10 seconds. Once your arms are completely straight, jump back into the bar and repeat.

5 Auxiliary training

With the help of external force, auxiliary exercise to the corresponding muscle groups.

Loop resistance band

Bands can help you lighten your load, more properly feel your back muscles, and feel how your back moves during pull-ups.

loop elastic band

It is recommended to start with both feet on the elastic band, and then put one foot on the resistance band.

Gradually wean off the aid of the elastic band.

Good partner

After learning the correct method of exerting force, removing the resistance band may still make you do not do well enough. You might as well find someone to assist you below, add a little strength to your feet or push your back with both hands.

Good friend

The above training, adhere to 6 to 12 weeks will have obvious results.

In an experiment at Ohio University , they trained 17 women who could not complete a single pull-up for three months, three days a week.

After 3 months, the 17 women had an average 36 percent increase in upper body strength and a 2 percent decrease in body fat. 4 participants successfully completed 1 pull-up.

Why can't I do pull-ups after working out for a while?

If you love fitness, you may have been exercising for some time, and you have not practiced less for your back and arms, but why can't you do a pull-up?

1 Lack of specific training for pull-ups

It is essential to train the arms and back separately, but since the pull-up is a multi-muscle compound movement, if you only focus on the strength training of a single muscle group, the mutual cooperation of the pull-up related muscle groups will be affected by you. Ignore it.

It must be remembered that adding special training for pull-ups in training, whether it is horizontal bar suspension, scapular contraction, or control of the eccentric process, or elastic band-assisted pull-ups, is a good way to activate the relevant muscle groups. 

2 Overweight

Pull-ups are a form of bodyweight training, that is, the exercise of overcoming one's own weight, and the heavier the weight, the greater the resistance a person needs to do when doing pull-ups.

If you were a little overweight, you might try losing weight first.


Girls, don't think that pull-ups are just for boys. Girls can not only do standard pull-ups, but also play a variety of tricks.

Of course, everyone has a different opinion on how girls do pull-ups. Seeing this, I don't know what you think?

Whether you're a guy or a girl, get ready to do your first pull-up!

Some pictures are from the Internet, if there is any infringement, please contact to delete.


August 02, 2022 — FitBeastZachary

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