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There are some exercises that people just don’t do enough of; the reasons can range from fear, to laziness to just plain not knowing how to execute the exercise.

Today we are covering the PULL-UP. An extremely underrated exercise that many stay away from.

Why should we do them?

Well the first reason is the “bang for buck” benefits that they give. Pull-ups work a large range of muscle groups and allow us to give our body the best possible advantage to build muscle and burn fat. The muscles engaged are inclusive of, but confined to our biceps, triceps, forearms, wrists, grip strength, lats, shoulders and your core.

Secondly, the metabolic effect they have, from stimulating more muscle groups, means they’ll help produce more of a metabolic response and have a far greater influence on how our body uses the foods that we eat.

As well as the aforementioned benefits, it also helps your strength and allows you to push yourself like very few exercises.

So many people have “one chin up” or pull-up on their gym bucket list when they start. If you’re not at the stage of pulling yourself up yet, you can try:
- Using fitness bands as assistance: these bands help to decrease the weight when you hang and give you a slight bit of assistance when you are performing your reps.
- Start with lat pulldowns. A pull-up is essentially a match of our weight and strength. For some, that difference at the start is too great. Therefore, the pulldown is the perfect starting point. Graduate to the bands after that, and then you’re on to body weight.
How do we execute the pull-up?

- Grab the bat with an overhand grip just slightly wider than shoulder width apart (there are several grips you can do, but start here with pull-ups).
- Now it is time to clench your abs, pull your shoulder blades down and back, priming your back muscles for the coming Activation and start pulling yourself up using your arms until your chest is almost touching the bar. Generally a good reference point is that our eyes are level with the bar. Come any higher and your back will turn off and your shoulders will turn on. Be sure to lead with your chest and keep your shoulders back and low in order to prevent injury.
- Don’t swing your legs front to back or side to side in an effort to get you up to where you want when trying to get up. This may cause injury, but more importantly it will change our centre of gravity and the stimulation of the exercise. If you are “kipping” please stop reading now...

* Now slowly lower yourself back down to the initial starting position, feeling the stretch in your lats at the bottom, before resetting.

There you have it, guys. Get cracking!