Why are Pull-Ups so great exercise?
Many times people who visit the gym believe that lat pull-downs are equal to pull-ups on bar, but interesting thing is that in general even if you are able to lift your own weight on lat pull-downs machine, you can still end up not being able to perform even one single pull-up.
Main reason for this is that while you are performing lat pull-downs you get assistance from your legs, hips and torso. Lat pull-downs don’t have whole body weight pulling down on your hands and that is why they are not a same thing as pull-ups, but they can be a great progression.
Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not saying that lat pull-downs are bad exercise and that by doing them you still won’t be able to perform pull-ups, my point is that in general you will need to work with more than your own body weight on lat pull-downs machine in order to perform strict pull-up.
So what is so great about pull-ups?
While hanging down from the bar pull-ups will require full control of your joints and upper limb kinetic chain, and that is not all. You will also have to control your hips and pelvis, your lumbar spine and even your ribs.
As you can see during this simple looking movement your whole body needs to be coordinated in order to keep correct sequence of muscle activity and to keep your joints in place (in order to avoid injuries).
I’m not able to perform even 1 Pull-Up!
Don’t worry about that, you can work your way up.
Like every other bodyweight exercise even pull-ups can be split into different progressions. Every progression will make you stronger and you will be closer to your first pull-up.
My favorite way towards building up the strength for your first pull-up is using resistance bands. They come in a variety of strengths and the best part is that with bands you are able to work through full range of motion.
Resistance bands are just one of those “must have” things and you can use them in so many different ways.
(I will post full pull-up progressions in one of my future articles.)
Are Pull-Ups for me?
Pull-ups are for everyone! In case you have some shoulder injury or something, than pull-ups might not be a right choice for you, but generally speaking they are a great exercise and I don’t see why someone would not try to master it.