To look like a Greek god, you want toned muscles (of course) – especially biceps, shoulders, and abs. And exercising on the pull-up bar is great for all of that. Without further ado, here are 4 of the best pull up exercises you can do at the gym or in your home:
Of course, the basics are important. The classic pull-up is a great upper body exercise that works your back muscles, arms, and core as you engage your abs to keep your body stabilized.
- Hang from a pull-up bar with your elbows straight and palms facing away
- Grip should be a little over shoulder-width
- Keep your core tight, chest up, and shoulders back
- Pull yourself up until your chest touches the bar
- Slowly lower yourself until you’re back in the starting position
Start with three sets of three reps, and try to hold yourself up for 20 to 30 seconds, or longer. Pull yourself up with both arms evenly, and try to lift only using your strength and not momentum. Think of that as cheating – you want the movements to be controlled, so you’re really working your muscles.
Around The World Pull-Ups
When you’ve perfected the classic pull-up, you’re ready to go around the world! Or, well, at least perform the around the world pull-up exercise on the pull-up bar!
- Hang from the pull-up bar, with your grip a little wider than shoulder-width
- Keep your abs tight and shoulders back
- Pull yourself up to the right, and move back towards the center of the bar as your chin reaches the top position
- Continue leftward in a circular motion as you lower yourself back to the center starting position
Make sure to do one set going in one direction, and another set going in the opposite direction to keep it balanced.
Vertical Knee Raises
The vertical knee raise is one of the best exercises you can do for your abs – and it’s really, really simple to do.
- With your hold a little over shoulder-width, grasp the pull-up bar
- Straighten hips and feet, keeping feet a little off the ground
- Keep your core tight, and do a pelvic tilt
- Bend your knees and slowly raise them towards your chest until your thighs are parallel to the ground
- Raise knees until they’re a little over your hips, or a little over parallel to the ground, before slowly lowering them to the starting position
Exhale while you raise your knees, and inhale when you’re lowering them. Make sure the movements are controlled and deliberate – simply dropping your knees back down means you’re working your muscles less.
If you’re new to the exercise and you find yourself straining to bring your knees up, just bring them up to where you can comfortably raise them – you should not be straining your back with this exercise. Only when you’re more comfortable, bring them up to a little higher than hip level.
We recommend two sets of 12 to 20 reps.
Hanging Leg Raises
Hanging leg raises are a great abdominal exercise, especially for your lower abs.
- Grasp the pull-up bar with your hands shoulder-width apart
- Keep your abs tight and pull your shoulders back and down
- Slowly raise your legs until they’re parallel to the ground
- Keep your legs straight
- Slowly lower legs back to the starting position
This is one of the best abdominal exercises you can do, and you want to keep your movements controlled to make sure you’re really working your muscles.
Perfect Your Form
As with any exercise, it’s important that you watch your form so you can get the maximum benefits of the exercise as well as not strain muscles you shouldn’t be straining.
To help you perform these exercises in the best form and to stay injury-free, make sure to check out our shop!