The muscular and toned figures that we see on TV weren’t born that way. They developed those chest, arm and back muscles over time and with a great amount of effort. Most of them relied on pull ups- the best form of pull up bar exercise for a stronger and well-defined back. Problem is, they are just too difficult, if not next to impossible to do! But, if you really want to develop your lats, gain more upper body strength and look like a Greek god in the process, then you’ll have to give it a try. As they say, the impossibility only exists in the mind.
As a beginner, your first task must be to rid yourself of the notion that you can’t do it. If your mind thinks that you can’t, your body will believe it. You’ve already lost the battle even if you haven’t even begun. Think you can, and you will.
Now that your mind has extinguished all thoughts that it can’t be done, it’s time to get down and dirty. To do pull ups properly, begin with a knowledge of proper form. Follow the steps outlined below:
1. Stand up at the pull up bar. Look up to make sure that there’s room above it so you’re not going to bang your head.
2. Position your hands on the bar, palms facing forward. Make sure that your grip is secure enough on the bar so you don’t slip. A wider grip works your lateral muscles while a narrower grip will work your middle back.
3. Hang on the bar. Do not sway. Relax. With both arms extended, bring your torso back around 30 degrees or so to create a curvature on your lower back. Stick your chest out.
4. Pull your pull up bar toward the bar. To do this correctly, draw the shoulders and the upper arms down and back and pull your torso up until the bar touches your upper chest. Don’t kick your legs to gain momentum. Exhale as you pull up, squeezing your back muscles as you reach the full contracted position. Beginners should concentrate only on getting your chin over the bar. Hold this position for a few seconds then inhale and slowly lower back down with your arms fully extended and the lats fully stretched.
5. The first time you do this, concentrate on just doing one single pull up correctly. To get the benefits of this exercise, you need to be able to perform 5 to 10 repetitions or more. Build this gradually. Don’t push yourself especially if you’ve just begun.
If you’re new to this exercise, it’s understandable that you might not have the strength to go through the whole thing on your own just yet. If you’re doing it in a gym, pull up assist machines are available to help you push your bodyweight. You can also seek the assistance of a spotter who can hold your legs. If neither is available, use a chair. Another way to prepare your body for the rigors of a pull up bar is to do lat pull downs. This is an exercise machine that lets you pull the weight down. The more lat pull downs you do at first, the more primed your body will be to do pull ups and actually succeed.