It's your FAVOURITE upper body exercise: THE PULL-UP! Scroll down to learn the PROPER PULL-UP and to learn ALL THE MUSCLES in this exercise!
Hop on that bar and let's gooooo!
1. Start with hands on the bar, more than shoulder-width apart
2. Hands should be palm down (pronated) as you grip the bar
3. Your legs should be relaxed the whole time. (If you are using an assisted Pull-Up Machine, your knees may also be bent)
4. As you bend your elbows to pull-up, push your arms TOWARDS your body and SQUEEZE. You should feel it in your back and shoulders.
5. Head should go above the bar as you pull-up. Don't force your neck upward - keep looking forward and straight ahead.
6. Don't strain or force your chest, back, neck or head up! Be gentle, focusing on the chest and back.
7. Your spine should stay aligned and "straight" the whole time.
8. Legs should stay relaxed. Knees should stay straight the whole time as well. (If you are using an assisted Pull-Up Machine, you knees can be bent.)
9. To come back down, relax your chest and back muscles, and carefully straighten your elbows. Be sure to control the movement carefully.
*Keep that back nice and aligned the whole time. Don't force your head, chest or back up.
*The position of the legs doesn't really matter. Do what makes you feel comfortable, as long as your legs stay relaxed and don't prevent you from focusing on the arm and back muscles.
*You should be feeling this exercise in your chest, arms and back.
The Pull-Up is the perfect exercise your entire upper body, especially your back, since it's the muscles in your back that actually "pull you up." The Pull-Up works the entire upper chest, back and arms.
Let's start with the Back. Every time you "pull" yourself up, there's a giant muscle in your back called "Latissimus Dorsi" (or "Lats") that contracts. The Latissimus Dorsi muscle actually brings your SHOULDER towards your body (Shoulder Adduction). The muscle is incredible at aligning and fixing your posture, and helping you stand up straight, so it's really good to target it! As your elbow flexes, your prime elbow flexor called your "Brachialis" muscle contracts as well. When you "pull yourself up," that muscle you feel in your back is your Latissimus Dorsi.
Your Deltoids, which make up the shape of your Shoulders, also play an important role in the Pull-Up Exercise. When you carefully bring yourself back down, your Deltoids contract, which help you carefully control the movement (Shoulder Abduction).
Along with the Deltoids, another muscle in your upper chest called the "Pectoralis Major" (or "Pecs") contracts to help bring your body back down. So when you're just hanging out on the bar, or maybe doing Monkey Bars in the playground, your Pectoralis Major and Deltoids are the muscles that contract to hold you up there!
Stay tuned for more variations of the classic Pull-Up exercise! If you still need any help in doing this exercise or would like to learn more about it, contact DANCE CUBE on the COACHING page!
Learn ALL of the OTHER MUSCLES that work in a Chin-Up!