Thursday, December 6, 2012

Pull Ups for Strength or Endurance

Recently saw this simply put article on written by Kathryn Walsh and thought I would pass it along.? Simple words, simple message.

Girl doing kipping pull ups

Pull-ups are one of the most satisfying exercises you can do. Being able to lift your entire body weight using only your arms is a sign that you’re strong and fit, and the challenge of the workout means you’ll see major results in your body if you’re dedicated to your routine. If done properly and carefully, pull-ups can help you build both strength and endurance.

The main goal and benefit of doing pull-ups is to help you get stronger. Each time you pull yourself up, the muscles in your arms, shoulders and back develop strains and slight tears. Other cells repair each tiny tear and make the muscle slightly larger. The more weight you lift — in this case, the weight of your body — and the more repetitions you do, the larger your muscles become. Larger muscles make you stronger and help you improve your endurance, though pull-ups alone won’t drastically change your endurance levels.

If you don’t have experience with pull-ups, make an appointment with a trainer at your gym so you can learn proper technique. According to the American Council on Exercise, you should tightly grip the handle of the chin-up bar with your palms facing away from you and your thumbs wrapped around the bar. As you lift yourself off the ground, bend your knees slightly and cross your ankles. Keeping your shoulders down and your head
straight, bend your elbows as you pull your body up until your chin is even with the bar. Hold the position for a few seconds and slowly lower yourself until your arms are straight again.

Getting hurt doing pull-ups will set your workout routine back weeks or months. The first thing to consider when doing pull-ups is the bar. You can buy and install a chin-up bar in a doorway in your home, but it’s crucial to follow the instructions carefully. Choose a model that needs to be bracketed into the wall to ensure sturdiness. Exercising with cold muscles
can leave you with strained muscles, so spend a few minutes stretching your arms, shoulders and back before doing pull-ups. Don’t do pull-ups if you have any upper-body injuries because the strain of the exercise can worsen a previous trauma.

Strength training is only one component of building your endurance. If this is your goal, you’ll need to do cardiovascular exercises as well. At least a few times a week, perform activities that keep your heart rate elevated for 30 minutes or more, such as running and swimming. Pace yourself. Running full-speed will tire you out quickly, but jogging at a comfortable pace allows you to go longer. Make your workout a bit longer each time, even if it’s only by one or two minutes.

View the original article here

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