Mastering chin-ups, the ideal exercise to correct your posture and your back

Dancing delts, traps and biceps in the same exercise seems impossible, but it is not. For this reason, incorporating pull-ups into our daily routines is a fabulous option for, apart from toning muscles, helping out our lumbar and back health.

It is true that it is not an exercise for beginners because it requires a lot of physical strength, but that does not mean that we can not gradually incorporate it into our routines, especially when we are used to the gym in one way or another.

Beyond its eye-catching, pull-ups are not only a fantastic exercise to strengthen the muscles of the trunk and upper extremities, but strengthening both will positively result in a silent benefit such as having better postural health .

We must never forget that our back , beyond looking good, needs powerful muscles so that we do not adopt certain vices such as bending of the spine, either due to natural causes such as kyphosis , but also due to our lifestyle, even when we are over 40 years old .

Spending hours sitting in a desk chair or bending your head to look at the mobile phone puts some stress on our vertebrae -whether cervical, thoracic or lumbar- and that the muscles that surround and protect them show vigor will make the pain more infrequent and of less intensity.

That is why the chin-ups, frequent in calisthenics parks and gyms, are a very practical exercise so that all the muscles of the back and shoulders are strengthened. This is the case of the trapezius, but also the rhomboids, the pectorals, the deltoids and the latissimus dorsi, the largest and most powerful of the trunk muscles, and which is the guarantor of a firm posture.

That is why today we get into the routine of pull- ups , suitable for all audiences, with the advice that Sara Álvarez, creator and founder of the Reto 48 method , gives us .

Dominated for all audiences

In either case, pull-ups are classic strength training, although it may seem inaccessible at first. “The pull-ups are difficult to achieve and require intense movement, but it is known as one of the best strength exercises, because by suspending all the weight on the arms, the entire body works together”, explains Álvarez, Although this does not mean that we have to give up and not include the pull-ups in our day to day.

There are more affordable options, such as those made with rubber bands (we lean on them with our feet, which will hang from the bar, so that we have to exert less force with our arms and shoulders) or “leaning on a box and starting the exercise with negative pull-ups. “

pull-ups exercise sport gymnastics

This is as simple as “starting backwards,” he says. ” Go down slowly and then go up normally, ” he simplifies, all this until a constant number of repetitions allows us to master the exercise, but first let’s go to those people who already have enough strength to face them.

“Hang from the bar with your hands open, shoulder width apart and with your grip where it’s most comfortable, ” he says. In this case it can be facing towards you or outwards, with pull-ups with the grip inwards being generally more affordable.

Then it will be necessary to “get into a position with the arms fully stretched “, and then “start the scapular contraction movement”, that is, raise the scapulae and tighten the trunk. From there, “flex your arms and raise your body until your chin is above the bar .”

In the event that our strength is not enough to face them, it does not mean that we should give up, since there are resources to gradually add them to our routines. This is the case of people who do not have enough strength in the upper body, for which Sara Álvarez recommends “simply hanging from the bar, with your arms outstretched, and increasing the time you hold.”

Once we gain strength, we can involve the tires. “Tie it to the bar and place one foot inside to help you push up the climb, ” he says. In addition, the fear of injury exists, so to minimize it we can resort to simpler chin-ups.

As we discussed before, it is the example of negative pull-ups – which is just a way of speaking, not because they are bad. “Being leaning against a box and starting the other way around, going down slowly and going up normally, ” he clarifies while leaving another fundamental clue and a common cause of errors and injuries with chin-ups: incorrectly distributing the weight of the body. “It is important not to lift the weight with the arms alone, since the use of the back is essential to perform the exercise,” he adds.

The advantages of pull-ups as an exercise

They do not require a gym, because calisthenics parks are more and more frequent , where we find bars in which to perform them. In addition, if we have space at home or in the garden, it is also an exercise that we can implement in a simple way, acquiring the chin-up support.

In any case, we do not need large machines, nor do we need help, as when we are in a force cage, although it is always convenient to do them with some supervision if we are newbies.

In addition, anyone (as long as there are no injuries that prevent it) can perform them -at their own pace, obviously-, finding numerous benefits in their execution.

  • It is a complete exercise because the muscles of the back, the upper body and the so-called core (abdominals, lumbar, pelvis, buttocks and the deep muscles of the spine) are worked.
  • Depending on the grip, different muscles of the body can be worked, therefore, in the same exercise we will have different benefits. The ones that are worked the most in general are the following: brachioradialis, biceps brachii, middle deltoids, pectoralis major, lower trapezius, latissimus dorsi and infraspinatus. Although with the prone grip pull-ups (hands inward) we will give more work to the middle deltoid and the lower trapezius, and with the supine grip pull-ups (hands facing outward) it will be the lower trapezius that exerts the most load.
  • It’s cheap and time-consuming as “it’s a complete strength exercise with few reps.”
  • In addition to its visibility, since they are generally highly demanded muscles in the gym, its physical blessings are added: it improves body stability and postural health, also reducing back pain.

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