Do you have a personal goal to get stronger? If so, you may be finding it challenging to develop a training program that you both enjoy and one that will allow you to achieve your goals. While most people are familiar with certain basic strength training exercises such as the bench press, many other beneficial exercises are not so familiar and, therefore, not considered when planning a workout. Many times, this is due to an individual simply not being aware of the different types of workout equipment available and how to use such equipment. This article discusses and highlights a small sampling of the variety of strength training exercises that can be done using an often overlooked piece of workout equipment: the pull up bar.
The Simple But Effective Pull Up Bar
The pull up bar is strength training dynamite. Incorporating pull up bar exercises into your training regimen can provide a number of important benefits. The first benefit to note is the strength and endurance building effects of a pullup bar workout. In contrast to many weight training exercises that lock in your range of motion, using a bar will allow you to exercise your entire upper body – arms, shoulders, chest, and back.
There are few pieces of fitness equipment that can provide such a wide range of strength training benefits at one time. The benefits of pull up bar exercises, however, don’t stop there. It takes significant grip strength to hold and lift your own body weight. As a result, doing pull up bar exercises will allow you to improve your grip and this can pay dividends in other recreational activities that you may enjoy, such as tennis or racquetball.
The pull up bar can also help improve your posture. Simply hanging from the pullup bar can help open your chest up, straighten your back, and help elongate your spine. That’s right, just hanging from the bar, also known as a ‘dead hang’, is a great warm-up and strengthening/stretching exercise.
Another great benefit of the almighty door pull up bar is that they consume minimal space in your house. No pressure, but we carry this removable door pull up bar in our store. It’s easy to pop in our pop out at your convenience. Having a door pull up bar in your doorframe at home provides a great reminder to do a few reps or sets anytime you pass it. You can also harness the bar as an anchor point for your resistance bands and get a full-body workout anywhere you have a door and an arm’s length of space! How convenient is that?!
Stay committed and keep using that bar, whether it’s at home, at the park, or in the gym. As you progress and make strides in your strength gains you’ll find that the strength manifested from pullups and chin-ups on the bar will lend itself to other areas that positively impact your body’s performance.
Here are six incredible pull-up bar exercises you should consider adding into your exercise routine.
One key point discussed above was the “entire upper body” focus. The following exercises in this article will address this area holistically and will aim to engage the back, core, biceps, and triceps, and traps. Are you ready to get started? Let’s go!
Pull Up Exercises For Back
The obvious starting point when using a pull up bar is the basic pull up. This exercise primarily targets your back muscles with a secondary focus on your arms and core muscles. You begin with your hands gripping the bar at shoulder width. Make sure your palms face away from you rather than toward you. Start pulling from your core and imagine you are pulling the bar toward you. Go up in a controlled motion until your chin is above the bar. If you can bring your chest up to the bar that’s even better.
Make sure to relax your shoulders to avoid straining your neck, shoulders, or back. Once you have raised your chin or chest to the bar, lower yourself to the starting position in a controlled manner. This will allow you to keep you muscles contracted for maximum time under tension both going up and again when coming down.
Pull Up Bar Exercises For Abs
The next point of focus will be abs. There are a variety of ab exercises for the pull up bar but it is generally best to begin with something more basic and work your way up to more challenging exercises. A good starting point for abs is the hanging knee raise. You begin this exercise in a similar manner to the basic pull up described above. Get a shoulder width grip with your hands facing away from you. This time, however, lift your knees to your chest instead of pulling yourself up to the bar. Once you bring your knees to your chest, hold for one second before returning your knees to a straight position. Maintain body control throughout the exercise and try to slow down your tempo. Be warned that you will definitely feel the burn the first time you try this exercise!
As mentioned, there are several other ab pull up bar exercises you can incorporate into your routine once you progress in your strength training. Once you are comfortable with knee raises try doing a hanging L-sit. To do this, start by grasping the bar with a shoulder-width grip as normal. From a ‘dead hang’ position raise your legs straight out in front of your body until your legs are parallel to the floor (see above). Hold this position for as many seconds as you can. These are great for strengthening your core and also improving your muscular endurance and stamina at the same time.
If you have a door pull-up bar it also doubles as a foot holder that you can place in the door to anchor your feet down so you can focus excursively on the core and eliminate cheating by adding unnecessary movements. Securing your feet in place will enable you to slow down your tempo and concentrate on proper form. Make sure you keep your shoulders relaxed, your core tight, and focus on maintaining a long back.
Pull Up Exercise For Biceps
Biceps are another muscle group you can target on the pull-up bar. The classic chin up is a good exercise for working your biceps, in addition to your back muscles. Begin a chin up with a shoulder-width grip on the bar, your palms should be facing toward you. From this position, pull your chin up to the bar in a controlled motion without swinging your body. Once your chin reaches the bar, return yourself to the original starting position. If you need a boost getting to the bar or would like to scale up the number of pullups you can do, try using assisted pull-up bands to give you natural support
Pull Up Exercise For Triceps
Pull up bar exercises can also be used to target the triceps muscles. If you have an adjustable pull up bar that you can lower, or have the upper body strength to hoist yourself up above the bar, you can perform straight bar dips.
This is a great way to engage and strengthen the triceps and chest. Grasp the bar at shoulder width with your arms fully extended and your palms facing away from you. Position your feet below your torso and keep your body straight. You are now in the starting position for a bar dip.
Lower yourself toward the bar by bending your arms. Continue to bend your arms in a controlled motion and lower yourself until your stomach touches the bar then press through your chest and triceps to extend yourself back to your original position. Try and keep your elbows close to your body.
Yet another option you can do with the removable door pullup bar is to place it on the ground and use it as a rear dip bar. The two padded parallel support bars will help to maintain proper spacing and give you a natural guide to raise and lower yourself.
Simply grab the padded grips just behind you and press yourself up using only your triceps muscles. Then lower yourself back to starting position. Try and keep your butt close to the pull up bar to avoid putting any unnecessary strain on your shoulders.
As you can see there is a multitude of exercises you do using a good old-fashioned pull up bar. It’s a simple and primal tool that can deliver rapid and broad sweeping results. Click the image below if you still need one.
As you build your strength, you will most likely find a number of pull-up bar exercise progressions that you enjoy and/or provide the right level of challenge that you’re up for. We highly recommend incorporation pullups and other related pull-up bar workouts into your workout routine.
Don’t forget that fitness should be fun, and you’ll progress much faster and reap the fruits of your labor much more profoundly if you enjoy what you are doing. Try a variety of exercises and change your routine from time to time to keep things interesting for you. We included a handful of beginner exercises you can do on a pull-up bar but the list of them far exceeds this. Get a bar, get creative, and get to work!