Primary muscles targeted: Latissimus Dorsi,

Synergists: Brachialis, Brachioradialis, Teres Major, Deltoid (Posterior), Rhomboids, Levator Scapulae, Trapezius (lower, middle), Pectoralis Major (sternal), Pectoralis Minor

Dynamic Stabilizers: Biceps Brachii, Triceps (long head)

Equipment needed: Pull-​​up bar that is positioned approximately 3–4 feet from the ground

Start: Sit underneath the pull-​​up bar. Place your hands over the top of the bar and grasp it tightly with your arms shoulder-​​width apart. Tighten your abdominal muscles and elevate your hips until your back and legs form a straight line. Adjust your foot position until your chest is directly under the bar.

Actions: While keeping your abdominal muscles tight, pull your body toward the bar by bending both elbows. Return to the start position and repeat until your goal is reached. Exhale through your mouth as your pull your body upward and inhale through your nose while you return to the start position.

Warning: Try not to rock your body while performing pull-​​ups. Called “swinging” or “kipping” (when you use a forceful initial movement of the legs in order to gain momentum), it prevents your stabilizers from protecting you from injury. Swinging or kipping should only be allowed while performing “negatives” (when you use a spotter to get you up to where your chin is over the bar or where you jump upward on your own, and lower yourself to the ground as slowly as you can).

Female standards:

Basic: 5–10 seconds, or 1–3 repetitions

Intermediate: 11–20 seconds, or 4–8 repetitions

Advanced: 21–40 seconds, or 9–15 repetitions

Extreme: 41–60 seconds, or 16–24 repetitions

Male standards:

Basic: 5–15 seconds, or 1–5 repetitions

Intermediate: 16–30 seconds, or 6–12 repetitions

Advanced: 31–60 seconds, or 13–25 repetitions

Extreme: 61–90 seconds, or 26–40 repetitions

Perform three sets of this exercise, resting 1–2 minutes between sets. Give yourself 24–48 hours rest before attempting the pull-​​up training again. Perform this routine for a month and you will notice increased strength in your back and arms, better posture, and a noticeable improved physique!