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As a 10 year fitness professional I can attest to the importance of pull-ups in any well-rounded fitness program.  Pull-ups are often called the “squat of the upper body,” and for good reason.  Similar to squats using multiple muscle groups in the lower body, pull-up engage numerous muscles in the upper body (back, arms, and shoulders)

Pull-ups may seem daunting at first, there are several regressions that can help individuals work on their strength as they progress to the pull-up.  Inverted rows, cable rows and TRX rows are all excellent exercises that can help bridge the gap to your first pull-up.  Each of these exercises can be modified to match each individual’s skill level, making them a great starting point for beginners.  

For those who are already completing pull-ups, there are several progressions that can be incorporated into your programming to keep the exercise challenging.  Switching up grip variations, such as neutral, overhead, underhand, and mixed grip can help target different muscle groups to prevent plateauing.  Additionally, tempo variations (eccentric, isometric, concentric), weighted, and 1+½ or 1+¼  reps, can further challenge the individual.  

Overall, pull-ups should be a staple exercise in everybody’s program. Whether you are starting with regression or progressions, pull-ups can help build strength, improve posture, and enhance overall fitness. Get started today!

With strength, 

Colin Masterson 

Owner – CM1 Performance