The Benefits of Pull Ups for Bodyweight training

Benefits of Pull Ups and what are they

In an opening statement recently I made the comment to a group of rugby players – That they should never consider themselves anywhere near being strong, fit or in shape if they could not do a pull up.

Thanks to the current stage in fitness of the “all show – no go” fitness machines we’ve had at least a generation of trainers doing everything they can to avoid hitting the pull up bar.

The use of Pull downs, back machines, rubber bands, on and on trying to “fix” a exercise that was never broke in the first place.! There is nothing wrong with competing Pull Ups correctly and with variations.

With that comment made many fitness wanna be’s start their Bodyweight Training journey with the need to build strength and power and this includes their pull up ability.

Doing so will reap tremendous benefits – the more pull ups you do regularly the better you will look and feel. Ninety days of pull ups will likely leave you looking like an action movie star or superhero or a top class swimmer.

Pull ups using a portable bar on a door frame

Top Keys to doing Pull ups are :


Avoid Working to Failure.

In building Pull Up strength and power it’s been shown again and again that it is better to avoid going to failure in sets. Always leave a rep or two in the bank. Do more sets while avoiding going to failure rather than blowing out all your energy on only one or two sets.

To some of you this may seem counter intuitory this will quickly turn into huge jumps in strength. Olympic athletes swear by this method. Try it and you will too! 

Pull With the Lats First.

Pull with your back muscles first NOT with your arms. Obviously your lats being much larger muscles they possess more power and endurance than your biceps. Use this to your advantage. 

Keep Your Elbows Pointing Back and Down.

This will aide you in firing your lats in the movement. Try to image elbowing someone behind you in their stomach. Like the guy who convinced you to add this grueling exercise to your Bodyweight training sessions (just kidding!) 

Get your Chin over the Bar.

There’s no need to go chest to the bar like some trainers claim. Anything much  beyond your chin does little to add further to your back development. Instead consider your chin going over the bar as a good solid rep. 

Difference between a Pull Up and a Chin Up


Adding the variations  – Switch Up Your Grips.

Okay technically speaking pull ups are when your palms are facing you.

Chin ups are when your palms are facing away from you.

Neutral grips are when you are using a bar that allows your palms to be facing each other. Do a few sets of each when you train upper body. This will help build your back from different angles and also do wonders for your grip strength! 

Consider the benefits  for the following muscles from Chin Ups and Pull Ups

Also what happens after the Benefit of weight Loss 

Lose Body Fat.

The leaner you are the better your pull up ability will become. Fat people don’t do many pull ups and pull up masters are very rarely (if ever) fat. When you set a goal of putting up massive numbers on the pull up bar it’s good encouragement in the quest to also get lean.