Pull off the perfect pull-up
Press-ups? You’ve got them nailed. Sit-ups? Bossed. But pull-ups? Yeah, not so much. It’s just so disheartening when you see men, with their annoying natural upper-body strength, virtually pinky-lifting themselves at the bars next to you, right? But guess what: the key to a good pull-up isn’t just strength, it’s also technique – so there goes that excuse. Soz. And, according to Dominique Mann, an aerobics gymnastic champion, perfecting your technique is well worth the effort. ‘Pull-ups tone your upper body and strengthen your core, which is important for your posture and creating a flat tummy,’ she says. Getting it right will target other muscles, too. ‘You’re using your forearms, biceps, triceps, lats, front of shoulders and core,’ says Darren Avondo, a strength and fitness coach. Can’t even lift yourself an inch? It’s worth persisting, say the experts. But beware: straining too hard could spell trouble for your muscles. To minimise injury, take it slowly, get your form right and use a spotter. To start, scale your movements by using a power band for assistance. Loop it over the bar, thread it through the loop, stretch it down and step into it. Start with a wider band for more resistance and go narrower as you get stronger.
You have lower-back or shoulder pain.
Grip the bar, hands shoulder-width apart, with your palms facing back and your gaze level and forward Engage your core and glutes With your back straight, pull yourself up until your shoulders are level with your hands and the bar Keep your legs together and straight, or bend them 90° for additional back support Lower to your starting position in a slow and controlled movement, then repeat