Pull ups are a goal for many, but don’t forget, it’s not just about getting your chin over the bar at all costs! Maintaining form can help you work a number of muscles.
Pull ups are an incredible exercise for strengthening the back. If you focus on getting full engagement of your back muscles, you’ll have a stronger pull up in the long run.
You’ll also find more challenging movements like the muscle up easier if you can pull up well.
Check out the video below for tips on strengthening your back when doing pull ups.
Pull up comparison
Ensure you focus on form. The picture on the left shows an underhand pull up being performed with the sole goal of getting the chin over the bar. Little attention is being paid to which muscles are used and how.
The picture on the right shows an underhand pull up performed to maximise use of the back muscles. I’m pulling my elbows down into my sides, which lifts the chest and brings the shoulders down and back.
The chin up on the left isn’t wrong, but if you always do chin ups like that, you are missing out on the back strength benefits you can get from doing a chin up like the one on the right.
The next step would be to try sternum pull ups or chest-to-bar pull ups where you touch your chest to the bar instead of just popping your chin over.
If you’re interested in building your strength, why not book one of our classes? If you’re in London, you can book our building strength class, or alternatively check out our range of online strength classes.