There’s no denying the power of a pull-up. Great for building your back, shoulders and arms, they can be found in almost every top workout programme available. The only issue is, pull-ups can be quite intimidating, at least to the average exerciser! They can be difficult to master, but with some persistence – and the right equipment – the pull-up will soon become your go-to home upper body movement.

But what exactly makes the pull-up such an effective exercise, and why does it warrant a place in your routine?

It’s a compound movement

Pull-ups are an upper body compound (an exercise that works multiple muscle groups at the same time), and are super-efficient in simultaneously working your biceps, core, forearms, grip strength, lats, shoulders, triceps and wrists. A dominant move in any effective strength training programme, pull-ups can be combined with other compound movements, like squats, deadlifts and the bench press, for a workout that boosts strength, gains muscle mass and burns calories.

Lots of variation

By changing your grip, leg position or hand placement, you can switch up which specific muscles you are targeting during your pull-up. If you’re up for a challenge and want to really activate your core, we suggest giving the L-sit variation a go! Just lift your legs up into an ‘L’ position to effectively focus on your core and strengthen your abs, and hold this position as you perform your set of pull-ups. Be warned though, this variation isn’t easy…

Boost your grip strength

If you are struggling to increase your deadlift, improve at sports like rock climbing, or even successfully open a jam jar at the first try, this could be attributed to your grip strength. Pull-ups are great for building muscle mass, but they’re also an amazing exercise to train your grip by utilising your hands and fingers to lift your bodyweight. If you’re looking to up the difficulty of your pull-up and test your grip strength even further, you could add extra resistance by using a weighted vest or by strapping extra weight around you!

Chisel your back

To build that strong and muscular V-shaped physique, you need to develop the largest muscle in your back, the latissimus dorsi (a.k.a the lats). By recruiting these muscles with regular pull-up training, you will increase the width of your back, boosting your strength, flexibility and balance and achieve the results you’re after.

Relieve back pain

Having a stronger back is undoubtedly great for strength and aesthetics, but also aids in improving your posture and reducing back pain. If the back muscles are too weak, this can cause slouching which induces muscle tension – a main cause of back pain. By performing pull-ups and sculpting a strong back, it makes it easier to stabilise yourself, maintain a more upright posture and keep the back pain at bay.

So, how do you get started? Pull-ups and chin-ups don’t require an expensive, over-elaborate piece of equipment, and can be easily performed at home. We recommend the Body Power Door Gym. Don’t let the simple design of the Door Gym fool you – this bar is multi-functional, and offers a range of grip options designed to work all muscles across your upper body. For alternative options, check out our entire range of pull-up bars and back machines online.

Ready to add the pull-up into your strength training routine? If you’re still not sure, remember that you can visit us in-store, or speak to one of our advisors via Live Chat on our website!