How to easily do Pullups and have Explosive Muscle Development
In this article you will find:
Different types of pull-ups
Which pullup activates which muscle group?
Resistance band assisted pull ups
Machine assisted pull ups
Buddy assisted pull ups
Today you’re going to learn how to master pull-ups and get that muscle development you crave.
This is the same process that’s helped me to go from 0 pull-ups in a stretch to 30 in 2 weeks.
I know you would agree with me when I say, Pull-ups are damn hard to do, and harder if you are a newbie. When I started, I couldn’t do more than one at a time, and for a newbie, that’s a disappointing scenario.
By using the three techniques I am going to teach you in this post, I went from wanting to give up to rocking the pull-ups before I knew it.
So hope you are ready to kick off your pullups journey. Let’s get started with understanding why pull ups are good for you and why everyone should include it in their routine!
Let me sell pull-ups to you with 3 words - Best Compound Exercise, Versatile & Engaging. Sold yet? If not, keep reading! I will give you more compelling reasons below.
Lifting your whole body from the floor by hanging on a bar requires more power than can be projected through a single muscle. Pull-ups are very efficient because every single pull-up works out your biceps, triceps, forearms, wrists, grip strength, lats, shoulders, and core.
2. Increased Grip Strength - #Engaging
Grip strength is a very important part of everyday life and so many other things, which is why pull-ups are so great. Sure you need good grip strength to do a single pull up, but in doing so they also go a long way in training that same grip strength.
3. Posture Correction
While doing your pull-ups, you engage your back extensively resulting in pulling your shoulder blades back and down into proper position developing an erect posture.
Some other big compound movements require decent amounts of equipment to perform, like the deadlift or bench press. Meaning unless you have weights, barbells, and power racks at your home, you’re probably heading to the gym for your training.
Not so with pull-ups.
Well, there are many more benefits to doing pull-ups. Once you start doing it, make sure you come back and leave us a comment on the benefits you’ve experienced.
What Pull-Ups should you do?
Well for a while I’ve been raving about the versatility of Pullups. Let me show what I mean.
1. The Classic Chin-Up
Engaging Muscles: Biceps, Forearms, Shoulders, Lats
Grip Position: Underhand, shoulder width apart, fingers facing you.
2. The Classic Pull-Up
Engaging Muscles: Biceps, Lats, Shoulders, Back
Grip Position: overhand or pronated, hands shoulder width apart, fingers facing away
3. The Hammer Grip Pull-Up
Engaging Muscles: Biceps and Lats
Grip Position: Neutral grip. Fist with fingers facing your ears, Usually done on hammer grip section of the pull up bar.
4. The Narrow Grip and Wide Grip
Engaging Muscles: Wide grip activates shoulders, narrow grip activates the Lats and biceps
Grip Position: Wide grip - overhand position, wider than shoulder width Narrow grip - overhand position, wrists 3 to 5 inches apart.
5. Mixed Grip
Engaging Muscles: Great for chest and torso
Grip Position: One hand in overhand and the other in underhand position, shoulder width apart.
Engaging Muscles: Back, chest, shoulders, arms
Grip Position: overhand pull up position, radial pull up with explosive speed, until arms are straight above the bar.
Watch this video to learn more about different grips on pull ups and chin ups.
Why doing Pull-ups is so damn hard?
The answer to this comes down to three main factors.
First: Gravity. This pulls everything towards the earth’s center, including you. Imagine you’re a 75 kgs person and while you're doing a pullup, you have to lift the whole 75kgs with just your grip...so duh….it’s extremely hard.
Second: Grip strength. If you can’t hold your body weight onto the bar for more than 10 seconds and 8 of that is the bar making its way through your fingers then your not doing more than 1 pull up.
The last aspect to be considered is Mass. More mass to pull means greater effort.
Gender also plays a role. Men naturally possess more upper body muscle mass and therefore potential for strength. But this doesn't mean that Pull-Ups are unattainable for women; it just takes a different approach to training.
How to make your pull-ups easier?
Before we get into how to start with your Pull-Ups journey, we need to get one thing straight. Safety.
Stay safe and equip yourself with a professional pullup bar. To avoid injuries you might want to avoid DIY, self-made constructions as these aren’t always the safest option and could lead to a nasty injury if you end up falling with an iron bar landing on top of you. ( We don’t want that now. Do we :p )
Secondly, try using good Gym gloves. Calluses are your prime enemy, they can force you to take a break from your fitness journey and for a beginner, it's better to take all the distractions out of the way. So get yourselves a good pair of gloves.
We in Burnlab have the best-designed Gym gloves. Check out our collection here.
Now that you’re equipped, let’s get started with our Pull up training.
Watch the following video for learning how to do a proper Pull-up
Now let’s move to the best part, making your life easier and putting you on the right path to your Pull up excellence. Here are the three ways I used to build up my pull-up game.
- Resistance band assisted pull-ups
How to :
- Loop the band around the center of the pullup bar. You can use different bands to provide varying levels of assistance, but we recommend thicker and heavier resistance bands as they offer more balanced support when compared to lighter ones.
- Now, Pull the end of the band down, and place one bent knee into the loop, ensuring it won't slip out ( Just like getting on a horse saddle). Take a medium to wide grip on the bar. This will be your starting position.
- Pull yourself upward by contracting the lats as you flex the elbow. The elbow should be driven to your side. Pull to the front, attempting to get your chin over the bar. Avoid swinging or jerking movements. The resistance band will offer you the required support and push to complete your pull-up.
- After a brief pause, return to the starting position and redo the same thing.
I recommend you start with 3 sets of 20 each and eventually increase the rep count to 50 and the set count to 5.
Feel free to check out Pull up bands in our Burnlab store. We went all in to design these bands to smoothen your Pull up experience!
- Machine assisted pull-ups
Things you need: Gloves and Pull up machine
- Buddy assisted pull-ups
Things/people you need: Gloves, Pull up bar, and a trusted Gym partner
In this, you implement a regular pull-up shown above but with the help of your Gym partner. Ask your partner to lightly hold your legs or hips to give you an extra push whenever you hit a sticking point. The trick is communication. Don’t let your partner give you too much help. The move should be challenging to complete.
Remember - don’t underestimate yourself and don’t forget to push yourself. Assisted pull-ups are fine at the start, but they are a means for you to do complete pull-ups by yourself. So plan a smooth transition and go all in.