Steps to Mastering the Pull-Up Routine
The pull-up might be the best indicator of upper body strength.
Your arms and back have to do an enormous amount of work to lift your entire body, which is why being able to perform many reps is an effective way to improve not just the obvious muscles — your back, arms, and forearms — but can also help you build incredible core strength.
In fact, as an exercise physiologist and strength coach, I’d go so far as to say that the pull-up is the world’s most under-appreciated way to develop your abs—and every other muscle in your midsection, for that matter.
All of that is great, but there’s one problem: It’s an exercise that gives a lot of people a lot of trouble, regardless of whether you’ve been training for years or just started.
If you can’t do any pull-ups, odds are you’ll blame it on your lack of back strength. To become stronger, you might start doing countless 1-arm rows and other dumbbell or barbell exercises.
While those exercises will make you stronger (and are a part of the solution), they won’t guarantee that you’ll be able to do more pull-ups. That’s because pull-ups aren’t just about your back.
Core stiffness, or being able to create tension throughout your torso, is a key part of successfully doing a pull-up.
Your shoulder blades are connected to your torso. A stiff, stable core gives your arms something strong to pull on. And that can have a massive impact on your ability to lift your body.