Pull ups are the single best bodyweight exercise. Engaging multiple large muscles across your upper body in a compound movement rapidly builds lean muscle in your shoulders, arms, back and core and triggers your metabolism for maximum calorie burn. The challenge is very real and with just a little success, it's easy to develop a passion for pull ups. The catch? Pull ups can take some ramping up to get started and many people struggle with the first one – much less a full workout. The good news is there are easy ways to adjust(scale) pull up exercises and get full workouts from day one with assisted variations.
Assisted exercise variations let you decrease weight and customize your resistance while working all the same muscles as the full exercise variation. For pull ups, that means using a step stool or suspension trainers to keep one or both feet planted for some or all of your repetitions or 'reps' which is one full cycle up and back down of a pull up. Assisted pull ups are fun and it may seem like cheating at first but you'll soon learn that your body is great at setting your ideal resistance for each rep throughout a 'set' which is however many reps you complete before taking a rest. When you want more resistance, you simply pull harder and let your legs adjust automatically. Once you find you can complete 10 reps in a single set, it's time to progress to greater resistance by lifting one foot, lowering your suspension trainers closer to the floor, or by adding in a few reps of full pull ups in short sets.
Pull ups do more then build lean muscle across your back, shoulders and arms. Pull ups balance your upper body development against your push movements like dips and push ups. Certified Personal Trainer and corrective exercise specialist Levi Sowerby recommends taking a simple shoulder assessment standing in profile and looking in the mirror. If you can see your shoulder blade, your pecs are drawing your shoulders too far forward and you need more pull exercises.
|Out of balance shoulder:Shoulder
pulled forward with blade & back visible
||Correct at-rest shoulder position:|
No shoulder blade or back showing
With your shoulders out of balance, your strength and stamina are diminished and you are more prone to injury. One more tip from Levi: To get the most out of the strength you already have, it's key to stretch your shoulders before and even during pull up workouts.
If your interest in pull ups is fueled by a desire to shed a few pounds, assisted pull ups will help you two fold by adding lean muscle and increasing strength. That's a metabolic win-win that helps you lose weight while progressing your workouts to full pull ups. If your weight loss goals extend beyond 10 or 20 pounds, assisted exercise variations can be scaled even further back with suspension trainers extended to waist height for pull ups from a kneeling or even a sitting position. Be sure of one thing though, adding pull ups of any variation just a few times a week will deliver rapid results no matter what your starting point.
Your perfect pull up workout will vary depending on your goals. For general fitness, doing a few pull up sets a few times a week is sufficient with days off in between to give your muscles time to rest. When your goals are more performance oriented or if you have PFT requirements to make, you might pursue increased rep and set counts and leave just one or two days a week for rest and recovery. Pull up exercise variations give you the option to change up your sets early and often so you can always have the exact workout you want.
The best way to support your fitness goals is start with gear that delivers satisfying workouts and helps amp your motivation. The mounted pull up bar sets the cornerstone of your bodyweight gym providing rock solid stability and excellent range of motion. Your mounted pull up bar also expands your workout options as the ideal anchor for ab straps and suspension trainers. The mounted pull up bar is always ready to go so you can catch quick sets between larger workouts to preserve your momentum and continually build on your progress.
As with all Ultimate Body Press gear, mounted pull up bars are backed with our 100% satisfaction guarantee so shop with confidence and start enjoying the best bodyweight workouts at home right away.
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