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Why Pull Ups Are Important

Sep 05, 2019



Today, I wanted to cover an exercise that is very important to overall personal fitness –

Pull Ups!

Pull ups are one of the most under appreciated exercises, that many shy away from due to their difficulty. While it seems we always hear men bragging about their ability to complete X amount of pull-ups, I've noticed that the majority of our female clients are reluctant to try the exercise.

I can't tell you how many times I've told a client that we'd end with some *assisted pull ups and she looked at me, rolled her eyes or let out a loud groan.

*Assisted Pull Ups at SHOW UP FITNESS means that the client will focus on the eccentric aka negative portion, we don't believe in band or machine assisted pull ups. The best way to do a push up or pull up is to do the actual movement. We'd prefer beginning with an aussie pull up and then progressing into chin ups and pull ups. The following is an advanced variation of an chaos aussie.

While pull ups may seem daunting, they are truly one of the best exercises that you can do for your body.

A great trainer doesn't depend on a machine for pull ups. They understand the pull movement and can regress or progress appropriately.

Why you ask?

Pull ups are a compound exercise that forces multiple groups of small and large muscles to work in synergy to successfully complete the movement. The main muscles are the latissimus dorsi (agonist), the biceps brachii, traps, and rhomboids (synergists), and the smaller rotator cuff muscles are the stabilizers.

Again- what does this mean?

It means, that by pulling your entire body weight up, you are effectively working the majority of your body and therefore muscles. Common overlooked muscles involved in the pull up are the glutes to prevent a forward body sway, and the core. The co-activation of the core muscles with the upper body is one of the main reasons why females have a much more difficult time pulling their body weight up.

So, by doing 3 sets of 3 pull ups, you are doing 9 consecutive full body weight exercises. By practicing these three times a week (minimum) and continuously incorporating them into your fitness routine, you will notice that the movement will become easier over time. Gradually increase the total volume by adding 10-20% per week i.e. week one 27 total pull ups (M/W/F x 9), week two 30 (M/W/F x 10). When you increase too fast, you risk the potential of soft tissue damage (ligaments & tendons) as they take longer to adapt to a new stimuli.

To learn more about pull ups, click here to watch ShowUp Fitness' tutorial. The video will provide you with key tips and instructions on how to help your body become acquainted with the exercise and conquer it! While many exercise plans work out individual muscle groups ( think: arms, legs, back), by doing a set at the end of each workout you will surely be sore the next day as well as feeling pretty accomplished!!

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