10 Ways Pull Ups can improve Your Muscle Growth

bodyweight workout, pull up

10 Ways Pull Ups Can Improve Your Muscle Growth

Pull Ups are no doubt one of the best bodyweight compound movement among the three in this category. As a matter of fact this is so popular after Push Ups that you can find a pull up bar mandatorily in every fitness training center. Having said that, Pull ups can be beneficial in many ways. Not only due to it’s effectiveness in increasing muscle definition but it also helps improving the focus. In other words, it also helps to establish better mind-muscle connection. Since ages, many athletes, gymnasts, cross trainers have been performing this workout and have explored many different ways of performing as well. The advanced form of Pull Ups was invented as Muscle Up, which is a very effective and highly skilled calisthenics movement.

To read the science based study of Pull Ups – Click Here

To proceed with, lets have a look at 10 benefits which you can make out of your daily home workout by including Pull Ups. Important to note here is, to get the most out of this workout, strict form is mandatory. Abs should be engaged the whole time so power can be generated throughout the movement.

1. Total back muscles development

Pull Ups not only target lats but overall back muscles. As you might be aware that back muscles are the one of the biggest muscles in human body. Having said that, when pull up is performed with perfect form, it helps to maximize and strengthen the upper, mid and lower back as well.

This is also one of the reason why athletes like to include this as warm up before starting the back training at the gym.

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2. Pull Ups can improve shoulder health

Shoulders play a major role in performing pull ups correctly especially the scapula muscles. To put it differently, if your scapula is weak, there are 90% chance that you wont be able to perform more than 4 or 5 pull ups or even less. The reason being, you need to contract the scapula first before pulling your body towards the bar and that is the absolute correct way of doing the pull ups.

Therefore, by doing beginner level pull movements such as dead hang, inclined bar pull ups etc. the reps can be increased over time. As a result, the more your reps will be increased over time, more stronger your scapula will be and vice versa.

3. Whole body posture is improved

Nowadays, considering our sedentary lifestyle, wrong posture has become a very common problem such as pelvic tilt and rounded back etc. Especially, for the professionals who spend 9-10 hours working on desk. 

And when we work on improving our posture, we can’t overlook the significance of back muscles. The reason being, the stronger back muscles don’t allow our chest and shoulder muscles to dominate. In other words, helps to avoid the rounded back problem. Therefore, training the back on regular basis helps to maintain the straight body posture.

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4. Pull Ups can strengthen wrist and elbows

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Pull ups when done correctly, may improve the wrist and elbow strength as well. However, not to major extent like push ups. When we try to pull our body upwards and maintain the balance, our wrist and elbow work together.  Hence, slowly progressing with pull up with more reps helps keep our wrist and elbow strong. Therefore, if you have elbow pain or wrist pain, avoid performing this workout.

P.S. don’t perform like in this picture….specially with an expression like that.. LOL.

5. Helps to strengthen biceps muscles

Another secondary muscle group which gets benefitted by pull ups are the biceps. In fact, the biceps are the muscle groups which support elbow and wrist to provide the balance. In other words, the both heads of the biceps become active and get continuous tension throughout the movement.

Consequently, performing pull ups with good form and overloading progressively helps to strengthen the bicep muscles.

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6. Good alternative for traps growth

trapezius, pull up, bodyweight

Although this can be covered under whole back muscle topic but still including this separately. The reason being, this is a major muscle in our back which is often overlooked by many beginner fitness enthusiasts. Trapezius muscles are targeted when we pull our body upwards by contracting the scapula and holds for 1 second at the top. This is where we squeeze our back muscles to activate the most.

Another reason to emphasize on this muscle is that it majorly supports our spine. It starts from the very beginning of our spine and goes all the way to mid back. Furthermore, spread towards shoulder muscles.

As a result, this muscle helps to keep our back straight, hence improving posture.

7. Convenient with customizations

One of the many benefits of performing bodyweight compound movements is the convenience. As a matter of fact, even if you have a iron pole or a bamboo, you can easily set it up a pull up bar in your lawn. Not only this, but you can also use your doors as your pull up setup by having a pull up bar which is easily found on any ecommerce website.

Having said about customizations, this workout can be customized in variety of ways. One of the most popular and advanced version is muscle up. Similarly, you can do full planche, front lever etc.

8. Pull Ups improve grip

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No doubt that performing effective and correct pull up requires strong grip. The reason to highlight this if your grip will be weaker, you will not be able to lift your body upwards even if you have the perfect form. Also, always use a bar which perfectly fits in your hand completely.

But this cannot be expected from the very beginning. As you progress with your reps, the hand grip gets stronger. In addition to this, for the beginning phases, I would prefer to use chalk on hand or even using a pair of rubber gloves which gives additional support. 

9. Helps strengthen Rectus Abdominis

Oh Yeahhhh… the most loved muscle around the globe. This is a  fact that no compound workout is completed without engaging the abdominal muscles. Moreover, the more you keep your abs engaged throughout the movement, more focus and more power you will feel.

Therefore, over the time as the reps will be increased with proper form, strength can be seen in the abs.

10. Pull Ups strengthen forearms muscles

How can the forearms be left behind when the whole arm is targeted while doing pull ups. On the positive side, when we try to grab the bar tightly thru both eccentric and concentric movement, the tension flows thru the forearms. This is the reason, while doing pull ups, apart from losing the grip, our forearms start to fatigue.

Consequently, pull up is a great way to strengthen our forearms which is in turn beneficial for other isolate as well as compound movements.


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