5 Reasons Why You Should Start Doing Pull-Ups

Ben Emanuel II

Those who are looking to develop functional strength tend to do more bodyweight exercises. Now that we’ve touched the subject of functional strength, one exercise tends to get mentioned every time—and that’s the pull-up.

Gym equipment has its pros and cons. Though it can help you build different muscles safely and efficiently, most machine-reliant workouts tend to focus on isolation exercises. Isolation exercises can develop imbalances. Plus, since you are working out a very specific muscle group, you don’t develop other muscles that are needed for day-to-day functions.

Those who are looking to develop functional strength tend to stay away from exercise machines and do more bodyweight exercises. Now that we’ve touched the subject of functional strength, one exercise tends to get mentioned every time—and that’s the pull-up.

What’s a Pull-Up?

For starters, what exactly is a pull-up? Pull-up is an upper body workout wherein your body is suspended with your hands on a bar. The goal is to flex your elbows and get your chin above the bar. There are different grip configurations to a pull-up.

Why do pull-ups? We've come up with five reasons why this exercise should be part of your routine, especially during your pull-days.

1. Practical for your daily activities

Firefighters, boxers, grapplers, and even CrossFit athletes include pull-ups in their routine for good reasons. What makes pull-ups a great exercise is because it promotes functional movements. For every pull-up, imagine involving different muscle groups both big and small. You have the trapezius, latissimus dorsi or the large upper back, Thoracic erector spinae, and the infraspinatus on your shoulder blade to name a few muscle groups.

It helps develop functional strength as it can translate into your daily activities or in your sport.

2. Burn more calories

If you are trying to lose weight, the more that you should be doing pull-ups. We've already mentioned that it involves several muscles found in your back. It also means that you get to burn more calories while doing the exercise.

However, the benefits of pullups go beyond the actual workout. Once you have developed your back muscles, being large muscles, it helps the body burn calories even during rest. According to a study, it is estimated that muscle has a metabolic rate of approximately 10-15 kcal/kg per day. That means that 10kg of muscle could burn 100-150 additional calories while at rest.

3. It doesn’t get boring

A lot of people quit their program because they are mentally exhausted from doing repetitive exercises daily. With pull-ups, you can have a variety of options to choose from. You can keep on challenging your body to keep you interested in this workout.

You can choose from close grip, wide grip, or even do one hand pull-ups if you feel that you want to focus on one side because you are developing muscle imbalance.

So what if it is becoming too easy for you? What you can do is to add weights. You can have a kettlebell, a dumbbell, or even a plate attached to your weight. This allows you to pull harder and even develop more mass.

Next, some variations can help those who are yet to develop upper body strength. Resistance bands can help those with weak arms develop the strength needed for this pulling exercise.

4. Improve your grips

One misconception is that pull-ups are solely a back exercise. In reality, it helps develop strong forearms that translate to strong grips.

As primates, we need to develop our grips. If it doesn't incentivize you enough to improve your grip, maybe you should be reading this study. According to this study, there is a correlation between grip and general health.

Grip strength comes in handy in different situations. For instance, you will be surprised by just how much more you are capable of deadlifting if you have strong grips. As for daily activities, grips come in handy whether you are holding a box and moving it from one room to the next or when you are carrying groceries from your car to the kitchen.

With pull-ups, you will be able to work on your forearm. The harder you grip on the bar, the easier it becomes to lift your body up.

5. You don’t need a gym

So things aren’t exactly back to normal yet. A lot of gyms are still not allowed to open because of the current COVID19 pandemic. The good news is that you could be doing pull-ups right at the comfort of your home. You can have your own pull-up bar on your doorway. For others, they can opt to do their pull-ups in public parks and get their dose of vitamin D at the same time.

Final Thoughts

Pull-ups should be part of your routine whether you are looking to simplify your workout or you are looking to improve your upper body strength. It is a fairly simple workout that you can do at home with minimal equipment needed. It also promotes practical movement which can help you in your daily movements and even in doing sports.