One of the best exercises, which have been overlooked quite largely, is the pull up exercise, which is also known as “chin up”. This exercise is simple and requires a chin up bar. This chin up bar can be either elaborate and freestanding or inexpensive doorway chin up bars that you can purchase at a local sports shop or even online.
This exercise calls for a slow and steady controlled movement. The pull up bar should be fixed at a height where one has to jump and grab the bar letting the feet hang free. Try to complete the necessary repetitions suggested, but rest if you feel tired as overdoing it may cause injury.
You can build up your strength to do the following pull-ups, if you are not up to doing them as yet:
- Machine Assisted Pull Up: Use a machine to help assist you to do pull ups. It may be worthwhile to join a gym and develop the strength to do this.
- Human Assistance: You can enlist the help of a trainer, spotter or coach. Cross your ankles and keep your knees bent. Get your assistant to provide the lift, as he grips the tops of your feet. You can pull yourself up with this offset assistance.
- Static Pull Ups: Another option is to use a step or box to get into the “finish” position of the pull up and maintain your chin at the bar level for a few minutes. Your upper body strength develops when you do this several times. Once you have gained this, go on to the next one listed below.
- Negative Pull Ups: Get to the “finish” position, mentioned in Static Pull ups. At this point, start lowering yourself making sure you use controlled movements, stop and hold at different points as you lower yourself. Repeat this several times.
- Half Pull Ups: For this exercise, you should be able to bend your elbows to about 90 degree, when gripping the bar. Stand on a bench or box to achieve this stance. Here you do not need as much strength, as doing the pull up with extended elbows. After you finish a few pull ups like this, lower the height you stand on and try to work the more difficult full up with elbows straightened.
- Jumping Pull Ups: You should be able to bend your elbows slightly when gripping the bar, so stand on a bench or box to do this. Bend the knees until your elbows fully extend, so that you can “jump” to the “finish” pull up position, making sure your chin is level with the bar. Try to gently lower yourself back to the box. Repeat.
Once you gain the necessary strength, try out different pull up variations.
- Lat Pull Down: You can use this exercise to gain strength for the pull-ups. This machine allows you to be seated with knees held down and the weight is pulled downwards to you. These few points can help you get started.