A compound exercise involving several major muscle groups, pull-ups work your lats, deltoids, teres major and biceps muscles. This makes pull-ups an efficient choice to include in your eight to 10 strength-training exercises that you perform at least twice a week, as suggested by the American College of Sports Medicine. Pull-ups also have the advantage of being easy to perform at home with the installation of a door-frame-mounted pull-up bar. Always warm up with five to 10 minutes of aerobic activity before you train for pull-ups.
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Sit on an exercise bench facing a lat pulldown exercise machine. Grip a straight bar overhead with your hands shoulders-width apart, palms forward and arms straight. Wrap your thumb around the bar or align it with your fingers.
Pull the bar down until it touches or nears your chest, bending your elbows to bring them as close to your sides as possible.
Return the bar to the overhead starting position for one rep.
Assisted Pull-Up Machine
Grasp the bar of an assisted pull-up machine with your palms facing forward and hands shoulder-width apart, arms straight.
Pull your body up as high as you can, bringing your chin up over the bar.
Lower back to the starting position for one rep.
Grip a pull-up bar with your palms facing forward, hands shoulders-width apart and arms straight.
Lift your feet off the ground, bending your knees so that your feet extend behind you. Cross your legs at your ankles.
Pull up as far as you can, trying to bring your chin above the bar. When you can’t pull up anymore, have a partner push up on your feet to assist you in completing the upward motion.
Hold this position as long as you can, with or without assistance as needed, and then lower as slowly as you can to the starting position for one rep.