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Pull-ups are great for shredding fat and building muscle and for muscle definition. You can focus directly on primary muscle groups with the added benefit of working out the secondary muscle groups. It is one of the best total body strength training workouts in the least amount of time. Pull-ups are an amazing exercise to fine tune the look of your body especially as you get closer to summer.

Depending on the angle and how you grip the pull-up bar, you can determine what primary muscle group you want to focus on. I like to do all my wide angle pull-ups with my palms facing forward while for close grips of course the palms would face more and more inwards. So with a wide grip and keeping my hands closer in front of me and pulling myself up, I will be concentrating more on my chest, consequently working out my chest as my primary muscle group. At the same time I will be working out secondary muscle groups like back (lats), shoulders, biceps and triceps, forearms and abs. If I do my pull-ups with my hands gripping the bar more at the side, I will be focusing on shoulders and back as the primary muscle groups but of course still working out secondary muscles like chest, biceps, triceps, forearms and abs. The close-grip pull-ups with tend to focus more on the back and chest while still working out the shoulders, biceps, triceps, forearms and abs.

TIP: Try using multi-angled pull-up bars rather than a straight bar for more exercise variety, to maximize muscle definition and for building muscle.

You can work out muscles from a variety of different angles depending on the type of pull-up bar you are using. I prefer this workout station:

pull-up bars and legs workstation

It offers you 3 different bars to use at different angles and each bar is angled so you can adjust the angle you wish to pull yourself up with thus hitting your muscles at different angles. This type of workstation compared to the traditional straight bar offers you a lot more variety and flexibility along with greater strength training benefits.

Pull-ups also improve your balance since you have to pull yourself up without swinging.

Pull-ups also provide you with a great cardio workout provided you do about 5 sets at a good pace of 12 repetitions each.

I like to incorporate pull-up exercises along with my regular weight training workout more so from spring to fall. Occasionally during winter I will do at least a couple of sets to change and vary my workout. Say I am working the back on that particular day I will start with a very wide angled grip and do a set of 12. Then I will choose a slightly closer grip and do another set of 12. Finally I will do a very close-grip set of 12. I will then repeat with a wide-grip set of 12 again and then a medium-grip set of 12 again or as many as I can do. Towards the 4th and 5th sets sometimes I will only manage to do 8-10 and that is fine. Even though I am focusing on my back I am also working my shoulders as well as secondary muscle groups like chest, biceps, triceps, forearms and abs.

It’s also a great time saver. If you are in a hurry you can get an effective full body workout with cardio in a minimal amount of time. In summer when I don’t want to spend a lot of time in the gym, I will include pull-ups in every one of my workouts and modify the angle of my grip and position to focus more on that part of my body that I am working out.

If you want to skip or change you biceps workout, I find pull-ups do an amazing job working out and pumping up the biceps.

As you can see there are many benefits of including pull-ups in your workout routine plus it also offers you wide range of flexibility and options.

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