How to do Proper Pull-Ups...


There are two workouts that, together, will target and tone every muscle in your upper body: push-ups and pull-ups. Push-up strengthens the chest, shoulders, triceps, abs, and lower back, while pull-ups strengthen the lats, traps, rhomboids, abs, and biceps. This workout program strengthens each muscle group needed to perform a pull-up. Stick with this plan and perform the exercises 3 days a week to master a pull-up in just 8 weeks. (Get a slimmer belly in just 10 minutes a day with our reader-tested exercise plan!)

Lat pull downs

This move focuses on your latissimus dorsi, or lats. Wrap ends of a flat band or resistance tube around hands and take up slack till there is just a short distance of tubing. Lift hands overhead, a little in front of ears. Exhale, gently bend elbows, engage back, and pull arms out wide, spreading band in front of chest. Hold for a moment, and then inhale while bringing band overhead to starting position. (Here are 4 moves to cut bra fat.)

Renegade Rows

This move improves a strong trapezius (traps), as well as strengthens your lats, abs, biceps, and forearms. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and presume high plank position. Sustaining body stability and control draw 1 dumbbell to low ribcage. Try not to shift hips. Hold for a short time, and then slowly return dumbbell to floor. Repeat that on opposite side.



Reverse Flys

This move targets your rhomboid muscles to improve a strong upper back and prevent injury from imbalanced shoulders. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and tip at hips, keeping back flat, and pull in abs to protect lower back. Bend knees a little and push hips back, hanging arms in front of chest. Take dumbbells out wide to sides, keeping rest of body unmoving. Hold for a while, and then slowly return to initial position.

Stiff Arm Pull downs

This workout hits your lats and helps to improve shoulder mobility. Anchor flat band or resistance tube around a sturdy brace, like an iron fence. Angle torso a little forward and engage abs to protect lower back. Hold ends of band in each hand, and get arms out in front toward anchor point. Exhale and pull arms back directly just past hips, stretching tubing. Hold momentarily and then inhale and return arms to starting position.

Inverted Rows

This move is to sustain grip strength and core stability, targeting your full back, lats, biceps, and traps. Lie down, belly facing up, beneath a Lebert Equalizer (two U-shaped fitness bars) or concrete bike rack. Bend knees and clutch on floor with feet. Wrap fingers gently around Equalizer and deeply inhale with arms straight. Exhale and bend elbows past ribcage to pull upper-body up toward top of bars. Hold momentarily and then gradually lower to starting position.

Flexed Arm Hang

This exercise works your biceps and core and gives your back greater endurance. Approach a pull-up bar or set of monkey bars. Hold bar with underhand grip. Flex biceps and join back to pull body up, chin over bar. Tighten through abs and buns to avoid swaying legs. Attempt to hold chin at least 1 inch above bar while looking straight ahead. Hold yourself without moving in this position.

Your Schedule:

WEEK 1:

  • 2 sets of 10 Lat Pull downs
  • 2 sets of 10 Reverse Flys with a set of dumbbells, 10% of your body weight
  • 2 sets of 10 Inverted Rows, pulling torso halfway up

WEEK 2:

  • 2 sets of 10 Renegade Rows with a set of dumbbells, 10-15% of your body weight (R/L=1 rep)
  • 2 sets of 10 Stiff Arm Pull downs
  • 2 sets of 10 Inverted Rows, pulling torso ¾ of the way up
  • 2 sets of 10-second Flexed Arm Hang

WEEK 3:

  • 2 sets of 12 Lat Pull downs
  • 2 sets of 12 Renegade Rows with a set of dumbbells, 10-15% of your body weight (R/L=1 rep)
  • 2 sets of 12 Reverse Flys with a set of dumbbells, 10% of your body weight
  • 2 sets of 12 Inverted Rows, pulling torso all the way up
  • 2 sets of 12-second Flexed Arm Hang

WEEK 4:

  • 2 sets of 15 Lat Pull downs
  • 2 sets of 15 Renegade Rows with a set of dumbbells, 10-15% of your body weight (R/L=1 rep)
  • 2 sets of 15 Reverse Flys with a set of dumbbells, 10% of your body weight
  • 2 sets of 15 Stiff Arm Pull downs
  • 2 sets of 15 Inverted Rows
  • 2 sets of 15-second Flexed Arm Hang

WEEK 5:

  • 2 sets of 18 Lat Pull downs
  • 2 sets of 18 Reverse Flys with a set of dumbbells, 10% of your body weight
  • 2 sets of 18 Inverted Rows

WEEK 6:

  • 2 sets of 18 Renegade Rows with a set of dumbbells, 15% of your body weight (R/L=1 rep)
  • 2 sets of 18 Stiff Arm Pull downs
  • 2 sets of 18 Inverted Rows
  • 3 sets of 18-second Flexed Arm Hang

WEEK 7:

  • 1 set of 20 Lat Pull downs
  • 1 set of 20 Renegade Rows with a set of dumbbells, 15% of your body weight (R/L=1 rep)
  • 1 set of 20 Reverse Flys with a set of dumbbells, 10% of your body weight
  • 2 sets of 20 Inverted Rows
  • 1 full pull-up, then 3 sets of 20-second Flexed Arm Hang

WEEK 8:

  • 1 set of 20 Lat Pull downs
  • 1 set of 20 Renegade Rows with a set of dumbbells, 15% of your body weight (R/L=1 rep)
  • 1 set of 20 Reverse Flys with a set of dumbbells, 10% of your body weight
  • 1 sets of 20 Stiff Arm Pull downs
  • 1 sets of 20 Inverted Rows
  • 3 sets of: 1 full pull-up, flip your grip and hold 20-second Flexed Arm Hang

 

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