Pullups are an extremely effective exercise to build upper-body strength and develop muscle mass. Pullups primarily train your latissimus dorsi muscles, commonly referred to as lats. Because a pullup is a form of compound training, the exercise can also work your chest, abdominal muscles, arms and shoulder muscles. Pullups will concentrate more on your biceps and shoulders, and train those muscles the closer you position your hands together.
Pullups require the presence of an elevated and secure bar. Grip the bar with your hands positioned approximately shoulder-width apart and hands directed outward. Clutch the bar with your arms entirely straight; let your body hang suspended in the air. Elevate yourself until your chin goes above the bar and your chest nearly contacts it. After reaching your apex, slowly lower your body back to its initial position. Complete pullups in a set of predetermined repetitions. Your body should remain straight and never sway to accomplish a pullup with proper form. You also should prevent your feet from ever touching the ground during the exercise.
The deltoids — the muscles forming the rounded contour of the shoulders — consist of the front, lateral and rear sections. Although pullups do not directly train your shoulder muscles, the exercise will help stimulate the growth of muscle mass in the deltoids. Your shoulders are imperative to complete pullups because they assist the lats and trapezius muscles.
Pullups require significant strength. They are particularly hard to perform and not intended for a workout novice. Executing pullups can effectively help you obtain strength and burn fat. Some people wrongly believe they can’t perform pullups if they weigh too much. The website StrongLifts.com refutes that contention by reporting, “Your body weight is not the problem. Strength is.”
Considering pullups are a type of body-weight training, you could theoretically practice them daily to train your shoulder muscles. But rest is crucial between workouts because your muscles recuperate and ultimately grow during that period. Stew Smith, a former Navy Seal and fitness author certified as a strength and conditioning specialist with the National Strength and Conditioning Association, urges a respite from all forms of exercise.
MayoClinic.com recommends you consult with a doctor or physician prior to undertaking a new fitness routine if you are overweight or haven’t exercised in more than three months. Pullups are a physically demanding exercise and you should not perform them without preparation.