Pull-ups are a foundational strength training exercise that can help you build muscle, with nothing more than bodyweight and a sturdy bar. While they require upper body strength, core stability, and coordination, even beginners can work up to doing full pull-ups, according to fitness experts.
While this meta-analysis does say more research is needed, the overall conclusion was that across multiple studies, a frequency of training two times per week using three standard sets of 7–9 repetitions was optimal for gaining muscle strength ( 2 ).
While rows and pull ups are great for the mid and upper back muscle groups, you will not be sufficiently loading the lower back, primarily the erectors. If your goal is to develop your entire back, you should look to include exercises that target the erectors.
By only focusing on pull-ups, you could develop an unsymmetrical physique where your traps, rear deltoids, and lower back are weak. Aesthetics aside, this could increase your risk for muscle overcompensation issues where one muscle picks up the slack of a weaker muscle.
If you are a beginner with no training experience, you will likely be unable to do a single pull-up. However, fit and active men should be able to do at least 4 to 8 pull-ups in one set. Fit and active women should be able to do at least 1 to 3 pull-ups in one set.
A bodybuilder or powerlifter at the higher levels are usually too massively muscles to be able to perform pull ups with straining their shoulder joints or muscles.
If you're just looking to build muscles in your arms, back and shoulders, then you can use a pull-up bar to get all kinds of ripped. Although the best way to maximize the effects of pull-ups is to incorporate them into a more comprehensive upper body routine.
When you perform pullups, there is another "very important" muscle used in the upper arm called the brachialis. "This muscle is a strong flexor of the elbow. The brachialis lies directly underneath the biceps and, when developed, can give you wider arms and taller looking biceps," says Cavaliere.
In addition to working your back, pull-ups strengthen and sculpt your shoulders, forearms, and chest (pecs). When properly performed, they also engage your abs, including your deep transverse abdominis, making them a great exercise for targeting many of the major muscles in the body.
No, pull-ups are not an ab-isolation exercise. When you are performing these, your whole body is working, beginning with the hands and ending with your calves. Nevertheless, it is recommended that during pull-ups you try isolating your core. That is, put less pressure on your hands, legs, and chest.
There are no definitive guidelines, but the number of pull-ups that are generally considered strong is 12+ for men and 8+ for women. If you can do this many, you're considered an advanced athlete. However, you are still considered an above-average athlete if you can do more than 8 (for men) or more than 3 (for women).
If you do pullups like I just described, 20 in a row is a great standard to aim for. The vast majority of guys can't do that. If you get to 20 reps, it tends to be a game changer for your upper body strength.
A V-shaped upper body conveys power in the boardroom as well as on the beach. You get that V by developing the latissimus dorsi, the largest muscle in your back. Pullups can deliver you to V-ness. They require strength, flexibility, and balance; they recruit muscles from your back, shoulders, arms, and core.
The main purpose of pullups is to increase the size and strength of your lats, biceps, triceps and the stabilizer muscles along your upper back and shoulders. Modifying your grip will get your chest involved in the exercise, but traditional pullups do not work your chest flexor muscles at all.
If you have orthopaedic issues with your shoulders or elbow joints, you should not do pull-ups every day. These body structures need sufficient regeneration time after every workout. And besides this, you should rather consider doing a less demanding exercise (e.g. ring rows).
3. Keeps weight down: As you increase your body weight over the years, you will find your ability to do pull-ups more difficult. This is where most men fail in the pull-up exercise. They likely could do a pull-up if they were not 20-30 pounds overweight.
The Winner. Despite the isolation of the bicep curl vs the chin up, chin ups are actually the better exercise for your arms and your upper body as a whole. The practicality of the functional strength is a big factor, but not as big as the facts. Chin-ups are proven to have a greater bicep activation than curls.
After completing 100 reps for 30 days, he has gained almost a pound of muscle, with visible gains in his back, which is, in his words, "way more dense and gorilla-like now." The challenge has also improved William's endurance; at the end of the month, he has increased his max rep count from 21 to 25.
Pull-ups and push-ups train opposite muscle groups. There is no reason to choose one over the other. Both should be staples within your training routine. If your goal is to gain size or get stronger in these exercises, I would recommend performing a set number of reps each day if possible.
The 72-year-old explained that he's always found solutions to working out without a gym. Growing up in Austria, Schwarzenegger would do pull-ups from a tree branch and chop wood to build strength. Even as a fitness professional, he would run up the stairs of a hotel to exercise.
Most children will complete toilet training and be ready to stop using diapers between 18 and 30 months of age,1 but this certainly isn't the case for all kids. Some children are not fully out of diapers until after the age of 4.
Thirteen-year-old males are expected to perform three pullups. Fourteen-year-olds are expected to perform 2 more reps for a total of 5 reps for meeting the 50th percentile. Fifteen-year-olds are expected to complete 6 reps; while 16-year-olds typically do 7 reps, and 18-year-olds do 8 reps.
An overhand grip pull-up is the hardest to do, because it places more of the workload on your lats. The wider your grip, the less help your lats get from other muscles, making a rep harder.
There are two main things that make exercises (bodyweight or otherwise) harder for taller people: Range of Motion–If you have longer arms, you'll have a larger range of motion necessary to do a pull-up, than someone with shorter arms. If you have longer legs, squats will require a greater range of motion.
Adding pullups to your strength training routine is a healthy way to increase your bicep size when combined with other arm moves. A traditional pullup targets your lats, though they also work your biceps, but a variation called a parallel bar pullup works your biceps to a greater degree.