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ImageSubmitted by: Dr. Jeffrey Willardson
Last updated: 11/6/2011

This is an excellent exercise that involves nearly every upper body muscle to a certain degree. However, the emphasis is on the latissimus dorsi, teres major, posterior deltoid muscles. Begin by jumping up and grasping an overhead bar with a pronated (i.e. palms down) grip. The hands should be placed a little wider than shoulder width on each side (avoid going too wide due to the potential for shoulder strain). Next, pull the body up as much as possible until the clavicles nearly touch the bar, then lower the body back to the starting point. The ankles can be crossed with the knees slightly bent throughout each repetition.

Individuals that do not possess sufficient strength to perform the upward phase of a pull-up might consider placing a bench on the floor directly under the bar. Individuals can then use the bench to assist themselves to the top position and then lower themselves repeatedly.
Step 1
Grasp bar with overhand grip. Hands should be a little wider than shoulder width.
Step 2
Pull the body up as high as possible.
Step 3
Slowly lower the body back down to the starting point. Repeat for several repetitions.
Exercise Details
Back Exercises ( view all )
Difficulty Level MEDIUM
The pull-up is a medium difficulty exercise.
Target Muscle
Back (latissimus)
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