Functional fitness doesn’t get more functional – or fundamental – than the pull-up. Pull-ups develop upper body strength and they are a prerequisite movement for more advanced movements like kipping pull-ups, chest-to-bar pull-ups, and muscle-ups. The addition of a pull-up bar to your home gym is simple, affordable, and takes up little space.
Variants: strict pull-up, weighted pull-up, kipping pull-up, butterfly pull-up (see demos below)
Set-Up: Start in a full hang position on the bar with your arms fully extended. Your hands should be just outside shoulder-width, palms facing forward. Get a full grip on the bar.
Execution: Pull until your chin is higher than the bar. Keep your chest up and eyes forward. Keep a neutral head position. Return to the full hang position.
Points of Performance: To get a “good rep,” ensure the following:
– You start the movement in a full hang position with your arms fully extended and feet off the floor
– You finish the movement with your chin clearly above the bar
– If a workout calls for chest-to-bar pull-ups your chest (below the collar bone) must touch the bar at the top of each rep
Pro-Tip: Use the large muscles of the upper back to initiate the pull. The arms will, of course, play a role in the pull-up; but the primary mover should be the latissimus dorsi (lats). You’ll be more effective and efficient if you recruit the big muscles as well as the smaller ones.