Healthy, trained Caucasian male training in the gym, striving for perfection, working for that perfect body. It is not only what you eat, working out is very important. Weight lifting is better than cardio.
There is something about doing a set of pull-ups that no other exercise can give you. Maybe it’s because they can be done anywhere a strong overhead horizontal pole is. Guys have been showing off for years jumping up on a “Don’t Walk” light stanchion (well, in New York City, at least) to show off in front of the ladies with pull-ups. But there’s a good chance that they fucked up the form just to try and look cool.
First, let’s define what an actual pull-up is and how it differs from its cousin, the chin up. The two main differences in executing them are the grip and hand position. For a pull-up, you should have your palms facing away form you (an overhand grip) and at about shoulder width to the outside of your deltoids. With chin-ups, you use an underhand grip with your palms facing you and the grip should be a few inches closer than pull-ups, meaning your hands should be at about the middle of your shoulders.
Chin-ups work the biceps more than anything and pull-ups are a back exercise, more specifically, the upper lats. Secondary muscles are also engaged, but these are the two you should be looking at when planning out your routine that day.
Here are some pointers…
1. BOX IT UP
Unless you’re an extremely tall guy, it’s best to use a bench or a box to get the proper grip on the bar before you even begin the set. This is easy when you have a training partner, as he or she can immediately remove the object once you’re ready. If not, then just ask someone training nearby to do you a favor.
If you just jump up and grab the bar, you’ll end up expending some much-needed energy getting your hands even and your shoulders and arms will begin hurting hanging there while you make sure.
Why bother going through all of that and it can fuck up your set and/or rep count goal. It’s much easier to have something to stand on for all of this pre-set stuff.
2. HANGIN’ OUT
Begin your set by hanging down all the way with your full body weight. This is what the bottom of each and every rep should look like and don’t cheat yourself by doing partial reps – at the bottom or top. This also ensures that you won’t use your momentum or swing to get the next rep started.
3. HEADS UP
A common mistake by people doing pull-ups is to anticipate the bar hitting either the top of your head or chin. This is understandable, as it fuckin’ hurts if you’ve ever had it happen to you before. But as long as your body is stiff enough and you maintain proper form, you’ll be able to see the bar and be able to keep your upper body slightly in front of it.
And don’t move your neck and chin up to clear the bar, either. This is the part of the rep that will squeeze the muscles the hardest, so you don’t want to lose that.