5 Workouts that Only Require a Pull Up Bar
You can have an awesome workout even without any equipment! All you need to get in shape is yourself – push-ups, sit-ups, body weight squats and sprints can all be done without workout equipment of any kind. If you add a single piece of equipment – a pull-up bar – the possibilities for your workout are almost endless.
While a lateral bar about 6 – 9 feet off the ground may not sound terribly modern, exciting or intimidating, the truth is that innocent looking length of metal is about to put you through a routine that will leave you completely spent, build some serious muscle, and have people commenting on your physique.
What are the specific exercises you can use a pull-up bar for? Besides the fact that pull-up bars can be used for regular pull-ups (which is not exactly breaking news), pull-up bars have a multitude of other uses.
1. Medium Grip Pull-ups
This is your standard pull-up. Grip the bar slightly more than shoulder width apart, pull yourself up until your chin is over the bar, and slowly lower yourself back down again. If this sounds easy, just give it a try. Unless you are the Incredible Hulk, you’ll start to feel it after just a few reps! Medium grip pull-ups are one of the most effective upper body muscle building exercises, and target nearly every muscle group above the waist. While shoulders, triceps, biceps, back, and core all get a great workout from each of the three types of pull-ups, this grip gives your back an extra good workout
2. Close Grip Pull-ups
These may be slightly easier than a medium grip pull-up, but will still leave your arms burning! Grip the bar about shoulder width apart, or slightly closer. As with a medium grip pull-up, a close-grip pull-up will work basically everything above the waist, with a special focus on your triceps.
3. Wide Grip Pull-ups
These are killers! Wide grips are the hardest type of pull-ups and are not for the faint of heart. To perform a wide grip pull-up, grip the bar with each hand about 8 inches outside of your shoulder. As with the other pull-up exercises, these will work your entire upper body, but you will especially feel wide grip pull-ups in your shoulders.
These are similar to pull-ups, but instead of gripping the bar with your palms facing away from you (as with pull-ups), hold onto the bar with your palms facing towards you and about shoulder width apart. Just like pull-ups, chin-ups are compound exercises and work every major upper body muscle group. However, chin-ups specifically target your biceps.
5. Leg Raises
This exercise is somewhat unique compared to the ones listed above. To perform a leg raise, grab hold of the bar with your palms facing towards you or away from you – it does not matter for this exercise. Instead of pulling your body upwards, swing your legs forwards by tightening the muscles in your stomach and, while keeping your knees as straight as possible, lift your legs until they are at a 90 degree angle with your upper body. Make sure to do each rep at a controlled tempo; don’t just use momentum to swing your legs forward. Although this exercise targets your core, as with all the other exercises mentioned in this article, leg raises will work all the muscles in your upper body.
Home Pull Up Bar
Some people may have access to a gym or a park with pull up bars and some might not. That’s why this nifty little invention came about called the home pull up bar. The cool thing about these bars is that you can put them up on almost any door way and do any of the workouts listed above on them. They’re designed surprisingly well and once you get past the initial “holy crap will this thing hold me up?” thought, you’ll be able to get in a solid workout.
I recommend going with this one that I found on amazon.com. I’ve never used it myself since I have access to a gym with a pull up bar, but from what i’ve read and all the reviews, it’s a solid buy, and it’s a decent price.
Iron Gym Total Upper Body Workout Bar
$23.38 @ amazon.com
By combining the five exercises listed above, you can get a complete upper body workout with a specific exercise targeting each of the five major upper body muscle groups.
So get ready, grab a pull-up bar, and prepare for an awesome workout!