Give it a Go - Pull ups

Pull ups will help to build up your upper body strength, provide a great core workout and challenge your Cardiovascular System. Being able to pull up your own body weight off the floor is a great test of your strength and something many people struggle with.

Pull ups don't require much equipment - if you don't have a pull up bar you can use a tree branch, climbing frame etc. You don't need much room and they can be performed anywhere and varied in so many ways.

Poor Pull up technique is common, don't use momentum or let your body swing to help you pull up - you won't get the full benefit of the exercise. The following are a few tips on how to perform pull ups safely and correctly

  • Stand underneath the bar (or object) that you will be doing the pull ups on. Take hold of it with an underhand, overhand or palms facing each other grip.
  • Powerfully pull yourself up towards the bar, ensuring your core is fully engaged throughout the exercise and that you don’t arch your back. Keep your legs and feet still with your knees slightly bent.
  • Aim to clear your chin above the bar.
  • Pause slightly at the top and then slowly lower yourself back to the start position. Then repeat.
  • Using a smooth motion, breathe in on the way down and out on the way up.
  • Avoid bouncing off the floor, letting your legs and feet swing out and losing control on the downward phase of the pull up.

As a starter, aim to complete 4-6 repetitions and see if you can do this 2-3 times. If you can't don't worry. Build up to it. You are best doing 2 correct squats with safe and proper technique to work the targeted muscles rather than 8 incorrect ones.

In future blogs, I will suggest ways that you can make the pull more challenging or if needed a little easier. For instance, you can add resistance, do assisted pull ups, incorporate abdominal exercises etc.

Please remember to warm up thoroughly before exercising and to speak to your GP before starting any exercise programme. Should you require any help, advice or information please do not hesitate to contact me. I would be delighted to discuss with you the tried and tested methods and lifestyle changes that I have developed to help people achieve their health and fitness goals.

Keep up the great work,

Live life actively,


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