Do you remember when you were asked to perform as many pull-ups as you can in gym class in elementary school? Some of us, including me, weren’t able to complete a single rep, while other classmates repped out a seemingly endless number.
As a child, even through young adulthood I pondered the reason for this test in gym class. Was it just an attempt to shame those who could not? Whatever the reason, that test made me aware of my weaknesses and pushed me to pursue a lifestyle of health and fitness and coaching others.
The truth is, being able to perform a strict pull-up is an indicator of your health and fitness and must be included in your fitness routine no matter what your goals are. Who isn’t impressed by the 70 year old who can still do strict pull-ups?
Below, is just a short list of the benefits you will see when you include and work toward strict pull-ups in your routine.
#1 – IMPROVES UPPER BODY STRENGTH
Performing strict pull-ups improves strength in the lats, traps, deltoids, pecs, biceps forearms and triceps.
Although strict pull-ups don’t involve much of the lower body, it is a multi-jointed exercise that recruits many muscles at once. This requires a large range of motion of the joints and because you’re pulling your body weight a significant distance it’s an optimal exercise for increasing strength.
#2 – IS AN INDICATOR OF OVERALL HEALTH
Being able to perform a strict pull-up is a great indicator of healthy body composition.
Healthy body composition, which has a strong correlation to heart health, indicates how much lean body mass you have. Lean body mass correlates to a lower resting heart rate, lower blood pressure and decreased risk of chronic disease.
#3 – GIVES YOU SIX PACK ABS
Many don’t realize it, but during the performance of a strict pull-up, your lats, abs and midline have to work together to stabilize the shoulders AND lift the lower body.
In terms of building your six-pack abs, strict pull-ups give you a lot of bang for your buck!
#4 – PREVENTS INJURIES
Strict pull-ups increase strength in the muscles and ligaments that stabilize your shoulders during other exercises.
This is highly beneficial for injury prevention in daily activities and sports.
During a strict pull-up, we’re asking the joints to move through a natural range of motion. This assists with not only building strength, but increases flexibility and improves neurological connection.
Building a neurological connection simply means focusing on specific muscles you want to activate in an exercise. In doing so, you will be able to increase the number of muscle fibers recruited during each contraction and help prevent injury.
#5 – IMPROVES CONDITIONING
Moving weight a long distance is a critical piece of increasing work capacity and because strict pull-ups require moving body weight a long distance (from a hanging position to chin over the bar), they’re highly potent for increasing conditioning.
Strict pull-ups are much more than a shaming exercise! They are a necessity for a healthier, stronger and leaner body. From strengthening your upper body, to injury prevention and heart health, the health benefits are beyond comprehension, so get out there and start pulling!
If you’re interested in working toward your first pull-up, gain access to our MY FIRST PULL-UP PLAN HERE. The MY FIRST PULLUP PLAN is a 12 week supplemental program containing all the tools you need to accomplish your first pull-up. It includes two strength training sessions per week with exercise demo videos designed for beginner to advanced fitness levels.
Also, check out 6 EASY STEPS TO YOUR FIRST PULL-UP.
Then, schedule a free consultation HERE to see how Lincoln Nutrition & Fitness can help you with your goals!
COACH PHIL KNIEP – Owner & CEO of Lincoln Nutrition & Fitness
Precision Nutrition L1 Coach
CrossFit Level 2 Trainer
3x CrossFit Games Qualifier