The classic pull up is a great exercise for a strong back and arms. If you are struggling to perform the upwards phase of the movement then spend some time doing eccentric pull ups where you jump up to the top position and slowly lower yourself down to the floor. Make sure you have spent a good amount of time practicing incline/horizontal rows to condition your joints and connective tissues before graduating onto pull ups. Even then it is still worth switching back and forth between pull ups and rows every few weeks to keep your shoulder muscles in balance.
- Grab hold of an overhead bar, suspension trainer or equivalent sturdy object
- Arms should be shoulder width apart or slightly wider
- Your feet should be off the ground.
- Hold your body straight or allow your knees to bend if you don’t have the space
- Keep your shoulders down and back
- Tense your abs and glutes then pull yourself up as far past the bar or handles as possible
- Keep your shoulders down as you pull. Imagine pushing your chest up to the bar/rings
- Lower yourself down under control until your arms are almost fully extended
- Make sure you vary your grip regularly (underhand / overhand / parallel)
- Overtime add repetitions or extra weight (vest/belt) to increase the challenge