Cross Training Workout - Understanding Pull-Ups and Its Variations

Simply defined, a pull-ups exercise is a compound CrossFit workout which engages a wide range of muscles from the shoulders to your back and arms simultaneously.

It is also easier to perform in terms of instructions because all you have to do is to grasp a bar with a firm grip and your hands kept apart by a distance equivalent to the width of your shoulders.

The initial position is to allow the body to hang freely from the bar. The next movement involves pulling yourself upward to attain the final position where the chest touches the bar while your chin rests on the bar.

CrossFit workout

When pulling, it is essential to concentrate on keeping your body aligned and straight, avoiding any instance of swinging or arching. While performing pull-ups, you have the option to cross your fit, bend your knees, or keep your legs straightened. What you should avoid is your feet touching the floor.

Pull-Ups Variations

As you have may have rightly guessed, there are a lot of different ways you can do pull-ups while doing the CrossFit workout. The section below explains some of the common ones you are likely to encounter in a gym.

Wide Grip Pull-Ups

This variation is mainly used to work your lats in addition to your biceps. Performing wide grip pull-ups comprises grasping a sturdy bar with a firm grip while your hands are separated from each other by a distance of approximately two times the width of your shoulders.

When you separate your hands with such a distance, the emphasis on working your lats is stronger. As you perform this variation, it will do you a lot of good to focus on utilizing your lats in pulling your elbows towards your rib cage.

Close Grip Pull-Ups

This is one of the best CrossFit exercises for working your lower lats. Instead of a wide distance separating your hands, the distance is narrowed, and this is critical as you focus on emphasizing your lower lats.

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When ascending, you should concentrate on contracting your lats while at the same time being careful not to lean too far backward or swing your body.

Underhand-Grip Pull-Ups

As mentioned by some experts from CrossFit workout, this is for emphasizing your biceps. It is achieved by varying the degree of grip separation between wide grip and close grip. This exercise is done with an underhand reverse grip. The palms of your hands should be facing you during the workout.

While in the initial position, try as much as you can not to overly relax your muscles because this can stress your shoulder joints. As always, your legs should be straight, crossed, or bent, but don’t swing back and forth.

Gorilla Chin

This variation targets your abdominals and biceps. The difference between this and a regular chin is that your knees are bent at an angle of 90 degrees while the distance separating your hands is about 12 inches.

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To perform this exercise, begin by pulling yourself using your arms as you gradually bring your knees closer to your chest. As you attain the final position, your knees will be up to your chest while your nose will be closer to the bar. Thereafter, lower yourself to the initial position.

During pull-ups, your body weight provides the resistance, but as you proceed, you may have to suspend weight plates as additional CrossFit gear for more resistance.

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