From free-standing to a door attachment, everything you need to build upper body strength.
BY BEN RADDING, Men'sHealth
From free-standing to door attachment, everything you need to build your back
If you do any strength training, you know that one of the finest bodyweight exercises out there is the pullup. It is both an essential test of upper-body strength and a top way to build back muscle.
“It's a staple in upper body workouts; we use it a ton in weight lifting,” says Sean Waxman, C.S.C.S., owner of Waxman’s Gym. “Depending on how you grip—wide most of the time—you'll see a thickening and a widening of the back. Your grip will improve, and your whole upper body will get stronger.”
[post_ads]Proper pullup technique is relatively simple—but can get difficult as you gas your muscles. It’s important to stay on-form as you do pullups so you’re getting the maximal workout and avoiding injury. Put simply, Waxman says, “You want to be hanging from a bar, whether or not it's a chinup or a pullup. You want to start with your arms extended, and you want to pull yourself up until the bar hits your chest or at least chin level. At the top of the movement, you want to pull your shoulder blades down and together.” For more on perfect pullup technique, check out this diagram and How to Perform The Perfect Pull-Up.
As you improve on your pullups, you may need ways to make them more difficult. “If you can blow out 20 pullups, you’re not really improving their strength anymore” doing the same-old pullups, Waxman says. He recommends adding some weight. “If you want to improve hypertrophy [growth in size], you want to add enough weight to you’re doing eight to twelve reps. Then looking for improvement and more strength, then you add more weight so you can do three to five reps.” To add weight, you may need a weighed vest or a belt that can have weight attached to it. For more ideas on how to improve your pullups, check out Power Up Your Pull-Up.
Now that you’ve got the knowledge to start doing pullups, you need the right tools. As Waxman says, “All you need is a place to hang.” So if you’re looking to do them at home, you need a pullup bar. We’ve done the research and rounded up the perfect pullup bars for guys looking to bulk up at home or in the office. To get the most out of your new bar, read Get A Full-Body Workout With Only A Pullup Bar.
CAP BARBELL PULL-UP BAR
$18, Buy It Here
PURE FITNESS PULL-UP BAR
$20, Buy It Here
The Best Pullup and Chinup Variations:
TITAN FITNESS WALL-MOUNTED PULL-UP BAR
$69, Buy It Here
AKONZA DIP STATION
$130, Buy It Here
CONFIDENCE OLYMPIC POWER TOWER V2
$140, Buy It Here