A pull-up can be one of the most challenging bodyweight exercises for the back and biceps, and is especially difficult for most women. There are many variations. The typical pull-up is described below.
- Use a chin-up bar positioned high enough so that your feet do not touch the floor when you hang from the bar.
- Reach up and put hands on the bar about 18-20 inches apart, or shoulder width, palms facing away from your body.
- Keep back slightly arched and pull body(chest) up to bar.
- Slowly lower and repeat without swinging the body back and forth.
Tip: A pull-up is easily assisted when your trainer helps push you up, and you lower yourself slowly (eccentric), or if you jump up, hold, and lower yourself. You can also try varied hand positions such as a neutral grip (hands face each other) or a supinated grip, as in a chin up. Large bands can also be used to assist your pull up. They can be wrapped around the pull up bar or top of squat rack and then placed under feet or knees for an assist.
Variation: A great variation of a pull-up ( called an inverted row) involves a long barbell placed low on the squat rack—because your feet can remain on the floor, this is a very doable exercise for most women.
- Place a long barbell low on the squat rack.
- Climb into the squat rack, feet outside, head inside and grab bar, palms face away.
- Keep body straight, and feet on the floor.
- Hang off the bar, stretching lats and back and then, pull your chest up to the bar keeping body very straight.