Many people don’t realize that their Pull Up Bar can be used for so much more than just a simple pull up. When I do my Pull Up Bar Workouts I work more than simply my back and arm muscles. I’m going to present the Pull Up Bar Exercises I use to get more of a whole body workout from my pull up bar.
I have 8 Pull Up Bar Exercises that I feel provide me with a good overall workout. Most of the time I shoot for 2 to 3 sets of each exercise with 8 to 10 reps each. If you’re new to the pull up bar and just starting out with Pull Up Bar Workouts the number of sets and reps may be a little too much to handle. If that’s the case just do as many as you’re comfortable doing and slowly increase your numbers, you’ll get there just give it some time.
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Pull Up Bar Exercise Fundamentals
Before I jump into my pull up bar exercises I just want to cover a few simple basics:
- Before starting your exercise routine please stretch. Stretching can help reduce injury during your workout
- Know your limits, pushing for an extra rep is one thing but pushing yourself too far, too fast can cause problems
- Always keep good form during your exercise. You don’t want to swing or jerk your body (particularly your neck)
- If your haven’t exercised for a while or are starting a new exercise program it may be a good idea to consult with your physician first
My 8 Favorite Pull Up Bar Exercises
1. Basic Pull Ups – Grab the pull-up bar and make sure your palms are facing away from you and are just slightly wider than your shoulders. Slowly pull yourself up so your chin is just above the bar, then slowly lower yourself back down until your arms are fully extended. If you want to put more emphasis on your arms and core use a narrower grip, or to put more emphasis on your upper back use a wider grip.
2. Basic Chin Ups – A chin-up is almost the same as a pull up except your palms are facing in the opposite direction. However, the chin up puts far more emphasis on your biceps than the pull up. Again, grab the pull-up bar and make sure your palms are facing towards you and are no wider than shoulder width apart. Pull yourself up slowly (keeping good form) until your chin is just above the bar, then lower yourself down (slowly) until your arms are fully extended.
3. Knee Raises – This exercise is going to focus on the abs. Start by grabbing the bar as if you where going to do a pull up. But, instead of pulling yourself up you want to contract your abs and draw your knees up until they are almost touching your chest then straighten your legs back out. A few reps of these and you’ll feel the burn in your abs.
4. Leg Raises – This is another exercise to target the abs. Once again we will begin by grasping the bar as if we are going to do a basic pull up. Again, we won’t be pulling ourselves up instead, keep your legs straight, contract your abs and raise your legs until your toes touch the bar then straighten your legs back out. Initially the motion will be rather quick but, as time goes on you can slow down how quickly you raise and lower your legs.
5. Leg Raise Chin Ups – This exercise will really target your biceps and abs at the same time. Get into position as if you are going to do a basic chin up. Now, as you begin pulling yourself up you want to begin raising your legs. By the time your chin is above the bar your legs should be extended straight out in front of you (your body should almost look like an L), then slowly lower you arms and legs back to the starting position.
6. Wide Grip Pull Ups – The wide grip pull up is a variation of the basic pull up. The wide grips are executed in the same manner as the basic pull up but, instead of griping the bar just slightly wider than your shoulders you move each hand beyond your shoulders by approximately 8 inches.
7. Typewriter Pull Up – Here is another variation of the basic pull up. Get yourself into position as if you are going to do a basic pull up. However, instead of pulling yourself up straight up between your hands, pull yourself up so your chin clears the bar directly over top of one of your hands. Then, while your chin is still above the bar shuffle your body back and fourth between your hands before lowing yourself back down. Alternate pulling yourself up over your right hand then your left hand.
8. Around The World – For this last exercise we’ll use our pull up bar but won’t actually be doing a pull up. To start, get into the basic pull up position. Your body should be hanging from the pull up bar with your feet off the ground. From your waist begin rotating your legs to the right, up over your head and then down to the left until your legs are back in the starting position. Next, alternate by going from left to right.
There you have it, my 8 Favorite Pull Up Bar Exercises. If you only make some of these exercises part of your Pull Up Bar Workouts you’ll see that you get a pretty good whole body workout. However, you may not be able to do all of these exercises depending on the type of pull up bar you have but, do what you can and you’ll notice a difference. Also, don’t worry if you can’t do some of these exercises immediately, just give it time, work at it slowly and you’ll get there.
I tried to explain how to do these pull up bar exercises as clearly as I could but sometimes it’s easier to learn by watching. So, I found a video that shows exactly how to do each exercise I described above. The video is short (about 3 minutes) and it will show you all of these exercises and more.
A Demonstration of Pull Up Bar Workouts
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