Pull-ups are one of the best compound exercises for developing strength in the muscles of the upper back, shoulders, elbows, forearms and hands. They also help increase shoulder, scapula (shoulder blades) and elbow stability.
- Stand under a pull-up bar.
- Grip the bar with hands shoulder-width apart or wider using an overhand grip (palm facing away from the body).
- Set the abs, inhale and pull your body up until the chin is over the bar.
- Exhale and slowly lower your body until your arms are fully extended and repeat.
- Keep your abs tight from start to finish and don’t swing the legs or lift the knees to initiate upward movement.
- For variety, try chin-ups with palms facing forward or use an alternate grip (overhand grip with one hand and underhand grip with the other hand) to simulate the grip used when hitting.
- To make the exercise harder and increase grip strength do towel pull-ups using a neutral grip (thumbs up).
Incline Pull Up
Because incline pull-ups or (incline rows) use a mix of horizontal and vertical movements with your feet on the floor, they are easier to perform than pull-ups in which you have to move your total body weight against gravity. Although easier than pull-ups, they are a good method of improving shoulder, upper back, elbow, forearm, grip and core strength.
- Place a bar securely in a squat rack. Set the height of the bar so that you can hang from the bar with the arms fully extended.
- Grip the bar with hands shoulder width apart or wider using an overhand grip (palm facing away from the body).
- Set the abs, inhale, pull your body up until your chin is over the bar, pause, exhale and lower your body back down in a controlled manner until your arms are fully extended, pause and repeat.
- Keep your core tight throughout the movement.
- To make the exercise easier, raise the height of the bar. To make it harder, lower the height of the ball.
- For maximum resistance, place the feet on a box or bench so that your body is parallel to the floor when your arms are fully extended.
- To increase intensity and core stability, place your feet on a stability ball.