Pull-Up and Chin-Up
Whether swimming, rock climbing, or just hauling yourself over that wall in your next Tough Mudder, vertical pulling motions are just about the most basic things we do with our arms. Both pull-ups and chin-ups work the entire upper body as a unit, but chins engage the biceps more, while pull-ups de-emphasize biceps in favor of the upper back and triceps.
Start with hands shoulder-width apart for chin-ups, wider for pull-ups. Stabilize shoulder blades (as described before). Bring your chin above the bar and lower down to straight arms on each rep.
Weighted push-up: Once you can do three sets of 10 pull-ups or chin-ups with body weight alone, add a light dumbbell between your legs, increasing the weight over time.
We pull on things all the time, but pull strength and stability are even more valuable for correcting the forward lean we develop sitting at a desk all day. There is no better tool for horizontal rows than adjustable fitness straps. Hung from any doorway – or even a tree – straps allow for a more efficient row than other methods because of the way they demand head-to-heel core stability.
Stabilize your spine by engaging your core, without arching or sagging; stabilize the shoulders as described earlier. Pull upward until your hands come even with your chest.
Lower to straight arms, never breaking neutral spine.
Increase the angle: Lower the straps – the closer you get to parallel, the harder the pull.