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Pull Up Exercises Will Get You Beach Ready

May 18, 2011

By Tara Zimliki

Most of my clients start their weight loss efforts with dreams of six pack abs, sculpted and lean arms, and a back that would make their significant other drool.  I work with these clients by providing exercises to help them to attain their goals.  Pull-ups (and also push-ups) are a great way to put you on your way to attaining the body of your dreams.  Countdown the days to summer by building your pull-up strength and transform your body in the process!

Do not be discouraged if you have little upper body strength. Start with the beginner workout outlined below to help you build your strength and sculpt your arms, abs, and back.  Pulls ups will also help you to build muscle, a key ingredient in losing weight and keeping it weight off.  With dedication you will transform you upper body and be beach body ready in no time!

In order to perform pull-ups all you need is a portable pull-up bar to sit on your doorframe, or you can even visit your local park playground and use the monkey bars for pull-ups!

What muscles are used in a pull-up?

Similar to the pushup, numerous muscles groups are used when performing pull-ups.  If you are not convinced that pull-ups are right for you, read about all the muscles you will be working.  This is definitely an exercise that gives you a great bang for your buck and will be an efficient way to use your workout time. The latissimus dorsi, pectoralis, the posterior deltoid muscles, teres major muscles, lower trapezius, pectoralis minor and biceps are all actively engaged during a pull up, and the rectus abdominis, erector spinae, and obliques work to hold the hips and rib cage together and support the spinal ligaments in resisting the traction of gravity.

Pull-Up Exercise #1–Pull-Up Bar Hang

This exercise is done exactly the way it sounds: all you need to do is hang.  The pull-up bar hang is a great way to get used to the pull-up grip, and to relax and stretch the muscles in preparation for a pull up.  If you have a tight lower back the pull-up hang is a great way to stretch and loosen out the muscles.

Pull-Up Exercise #2–Outside Grip Pull-Up

Burning fat and building muscle are essential for weight loss and physical fitness, and whether or not you can complete an entire rep of pull ups you’ll need to add the outer grip pull-up to your pull-up workout.  Just make sure your knuckles are facing you to properly perform this exercise.

The outer grip pull-up is more difficult because this form forces you to use your entire body for lifting, not just your upper body.  This exercise will help improve strength in your shoulders, biceps, chest, back, and lats. Similar to pushups, you can gain strength relatively quickly when doing pull-ups regularly (2-3 times per week).

Pull-Up Exercise #3–Abdominal Knee Ups

A strong core is critical to correctly perform a pull-up or pushup workout, particularly if you want to avoid injury, and knee ups help strengthen your core. Knee ups are similar to the captain’s chair equipment seen in a gym, but in this case the only equipment needed is a pull-up bar or monkey bars at a park.  To do knee ups, hang from the bar and bring your knees up to your chest to strengthen your abs.  By building your abdominal strength with core exercises, pull-ups, pushups, and many other exercises will come much easier!

Whether you need improved core strength to effectively perform your pull-up workout or you need an effective way to strengthen your abdominal muscles, knees ups are the answer. Bring your knees up and to the side if you want to sculpt and strengthen your obliques for a beach-ready body!

Try a pull-up challenge and see your body transform. With hard work and dedication you can have the body you deserve!

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