The Pull-up is in my opinion the best upper back exercise out there. I won’t hesitate to say that, I think many others would agree. Why do I think that the Pull-up is so great? There are many reasons but basically it all comes down to the fact that Pull-ups are hard to do. Unfortunately, that’s why many people don’t include them in their exercise routine. Pull-ups are often so difficult that, many people can’t even do one of them. If that’s you, it doesn’t matter, because you can still improve no matter what level you’re at. You just need a bar to pull on and some good work ethic.
I remember when my Pull-up numbers were really low and I hated it. I had been training for years, but I felt weak and pathetic; I didn’t seem to have the control of my body that I had worked so hard for. If you’ve struggled with Pull-ups before, don’t give up on them. Even if you can’t do one rep just get a step ladder and slowly lower yourself under control. Exercises like Bent over Rows and Lat Pull downs are great, but neither of them will give you the overall health benefits of doing Pull-ups. If you’re making a bodyweight workout plan then you should definitely include Pull-ups.
There are many ways to hold the bar but for beginners, I recommend that you have your palms facing away from you. Spread your hands about shoulder width apart and grab on tight. When you’re at the bottom of the Pull-up, don’t let your shoulders shrug up to your ears. Pull yourself up until your neck reaches the level of the bar and then lower yourself back down. Be careful not to hit your chin on the way down.
Your elbow position should feel natural. This is one of the areas that people get into a lot of debate about, but it’s useless to worry about it when you are just starting out. To get a good natural elbow position simply, stand with your arms raised to shoulder height, and bring your forearm up to form a square. Your arms should now be in a wide grip position. Now move keep your forearms and arms in a square position while you bring your elbows closer together. Stop when your hands are in the medium grip position for Pull-ups.
This is a great way to start learning how to do Pull-ups. You don’t want to develop nasty habits from the beginning. In fact, you don’t want those nasty habits ever, but doing Pull-ups this way will help you to prevent that. Also make sure to flex your abs lightly as you do your Pull-up repetitions, and pull at a slow to moderate pace. Those two things will reduce the chance of your body swaying back and forth during the exercise. Finally, the most important thing about how to do Pull-ups is to believe in yourself. Believe that you can do this, and that you will get better. It takes time, practice, and patience.