Pull Up

  • Area Served: Northern California
  • docs to perform:Guarav Abbi


The pull-up is an upper body pulling exercise done using a bar, or pull-up bar. Using your own body weight as resistance, the exercise works both the back and biceps. Your grip is most important when doing this exercise because if you are going to pull yourself up with the use of a bar, it will work best if your palms are in a forward-facing position. This grip prevents hand and wrist injury while lifting yourself.

In order to perform the pull-up exercise, find a bar h3 and sturdy enough to support your weight. Then, grasp the bar firmly with your palms facing away from you at shoulder width. Your arms must be straightened, allowing your body to hang in the air. That is only your starting position; the real deal is when you pull yourself up until your chin is over the bar or your chest almost reaches the bar, as well. A pull up should not be mistaken for a chin-up, which is essentially the same exercise only with your palms facing toward you. As you are pulling, concentrate on keeping your body straight without swinging or arching your back. It is important for your back to stay aligned during the exercise. While doing the pull-up, you can cross your feet, straighten your legs or bend your knees as long as your feet don’t touch the floor and your back remains straight. This exercise helps with balance and is a good exercise to promote overall physical fitness.


The muscles that the pull-up exercise targets are the latissimus dorsi (the muscles in the back), the brachialis and brachioradialis (the muscles along the elbow that helps move the forearm), the biceps, the triceps, and the shoulder blades. The abdominal muscles are also targeted in this workout because the lifting motion engages the core.

The pull-up exercise strengthens the muscles by flexing and stretching them, especially the forearms. It also creates flexible shoulder blades for better mobility that are less prone to muscle strain. The abdominal muscles become more stabilized, creating a toned torso and the obliques get tighter when the core is engaged. When you bend your knees, you’ll also experience a stretch in the muscles throughout legs. The posture required in the exercise aligns the spine and reduces recurrent back pain.

Sets and Repetitions

There are a variety of alternatives to the pull-up exercise. One is the muscle-up in which you are required to carry the whole torso over the bar while straightening the arms. Keep your legs forward while gradually coming down from the bar. This variation is intended for those who already master the rhythm of the pull-up exercise, and who want more of a challenge.

Another alternative is the clapping pull-up, wherein you need to throw yourself upwards in order to have an extra time to clap your hands and catch the bar safely. This variation is much more difficult and should not be attempted unless you can already do a standard pull-up. If you are not able to catch the bar as you go up, you may fall down or smack your chin on the bar, resulting in injury.

If you are a beginner, complete 10 repetitions of the pull-up exercise in one set. If you are an advanced trainee, performing 20 repetitions of this workout is sufficient. Avoid exerting more repetitions that what is suggested because overdoing yourself may result in muscle strain and even unexpected injury.

Top Performance Metrics

Singaporean athlete Yeo Kim Yeong completed 43 pull-ups in one minute. Mark Jordan, set a record for completing 4,321 pull-ups in 24 hours.

Related Movements

The movements that can be integrated with the pull-up are the following:

  • Burpees
  • Mountain climber
  • Push-up
  • Squat
  • Sit-up
  • Running

Related Foods

Here is a list of foods that you can choose from before you workout:

  • Fruit smoothie
  • Whole wheat cereals with strawberries or blueberries
  • Rice cakes with peanut butter
  • Banana with almond butter

Your body needs to refuel after a workout. Here is a list of foods that you can add to your menu in order to recharge your body:

  • Whole grain pita or bread with hummus and veggies
  • Low-fat chocolate milk
  • Boiled eggs
  • Fresh fruit juices or smoothies

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