If I could only perform one upper body strength training exercise for the rest of my life, I would without a doubt chose the pull-up. In my mind the pull-up is the single greatest, and possibly the most difficult, strength training exercise for overall health you can perform. Pull-ups have tons of benefits that make them an incredibly simple and convenient exercise that strengthen almost your entire upper body.
Pull-ups are considered a compound exercise, which means they target multiple muscle groups at the same time. Compound exercises help improve functional strength and coordination by making separate muscle groups work together to perform a single move. Pull-ups target many muscles in your upper body, primarily your back and biceps, but also secondarily your shoulders, chest, abs and more. Pull-ups being a compound exercise also burn more calories than typical exercises. For the perfect pull-up form visit bodybuilding.com.
Pull-ups are one of the most convenient exercises there is, they require no gym equipment. The only equipment required is a bar or ledge that will support your body weight. You can also buy a pull-up bar that fits in your doorway for about ten bucks online. A good quality pull-up workout can be performed in as little as fifteen minutes. With the ability to do pull-ups in any doorway and in such a short amount of time you can literally do them almost anywhere anytime.
The variations you can perform with pull-ups are incredibly diverse. You can increase or decrease intensity as well as target specific muscle groups. To decrease intensity you can perform assisted pull-ups, lower quantity performed, or do lat pull downs (these are not technically pull ups, but are a good beginner exercise to work up to pull-ups). To increase the intensity you can increase the number of pull-ups performed or perform weighted pull ups. By widening or narrowing your grip on the bar you can easily target different groups of muscles as well. You can also modify your grip to perform chin-ups which puts more of an emphasis on your biceps and less on your back than a traditional pull-up.
Overall between how convenient and easy the exercise is the perform, and how simple it is to modify, coupled with the vast benefits associated with pull-up they are in my opinion the single best upper body strength exercise one can perform.
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