Pull-ups are one the most effective exercises athletes can do to improve many areas of their fitness journey. Although they can be a difficult movement to work up to, avoiding them would be a terrible mistake. Just adding in a few sets a week can help you see many improvements in strength and mass, but what else? Here of the top benefits of pull-ups!
Benefits of pull-ups
Increase Upper Body Strength and Mass
Pull-ups are known as a compound exercise, meaning many muscle groups are being worked during the movement. The movement focuses primarily on your back muscles like the latissimus dorsi (lats), trapezius (traps), and biceps.
Other muscles worked include your deltoids (shoulders), chest, forearms, and core (abs).
By working all of these muscle groups, you’ll be developing muscle mass and your upper body strength, which can also help improve other upper body exercises.
Improved Functional Strength
Osrpt.com explains that functional strength training is geared toward how the body’s muscles move together rather than independently. Resulting in “functional strength” that can help you in everyday activities.
Unlike the bench press or lat pull down for example. Most people don’t have to use that in everyday movements. Aside from getting stronger in that movement, there’s no function in doing that exercise.
Your grip strength will be improved during pull-ups. Hanging onto the bar with the weight of your body pulling you down puts a lot of tension on your forearms and hands.
Resulting in an increase in grip strength that can be helpful for other pull exercises or even activities like rock climbing.
Improved Mental Health
According to Healthdigest.com, strength training exercises like the pull-up can help improve certain areas of your mental well-being. These areas include:
-Decreased anxiety levels
-Decrease in depression
-Improvement of self-esteem
Overall, exercising for many people can be a time for themselves and be used as a form of meditation and stress relief.
Increase Bone Density
Nih.gov says that some of the best exercises to increase your bone density include “weight-bearing exercises”, meaning exercises that push you to work against gravity like pull-ups. Having low-density bones can lead to fractures and in some serious cases, “osteoporosis.”
By incorporating pull-ups, you can help improve bone density resulting in better bone health.
Incorporating your pull-ups can build you back to give you the “V’ taper. Pull-ups can develop your shoulder size and the width of your lats, giving your upper body a wide top and slim middle creating the “V.”
Many exercises in the gym will require an expensive piece of equipment. These setups and machines can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
For pull-ups, all you need is a pull-up bar or you can even find one near you at a park.
Effects of Different Pull-up Variations
Adding variations of pull-ups can help develop certain areas better than others. For example, doing an underhand grip/chin-up can help develop your biceps more than a standard pull-up.
Changing the pace of how you do your reps can also have a different effect. Doing quicker/faster reps will help you do more reps within a single set. Vise versa going slower can give you more control and help perfect your form during the reps. As a result, the intensity can increase as well as the “time under tension.”
Using different handles can also have a different effect. A much thicker handle will force you to use more grip strength and increase the tension on your forearms to keep you from letting go of the grips.
Another way to add variety could be to use gymnastics rings. Since straps suspend the rings, you’ll be forced to complete reps in an unstable fashion, resulting in better body weight control.
As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to start incorporating pull-ups into your workout routine. They are a great way to improve your upper body strength and functional strength, as well as increase grip strength and bone density. Not to mention, they can also do wonders for your mental health and make you look better!
Adding in just a few sets a week or even on your back days, can help you see many benefits. If you’re looking for an inexpensive exercise that offers so many benefits, look no further than pull-ups.