A pull-up is an upper-body strength exercise. The pull-up is a closed-chain movement where the body is suspended by the hands, gripping a bar or other implement at a distance typically wider than shoulder-width, and pulled up. As this happens, the elbows flex and the shoulders adduct and extend to bring the elbows to the torso.
Beginning by hanging from the bar, the body is pulled up vertically. From the top position, the participant lowers their body until the arms and shoulders are fully extended. The end range of motion at the top end may be chin over bar or higher, such as chest to bar.
Pull-ups are a closed-chain, compound movement involving flexion at the elbow and adduction or extension of the shoulder joint. The trapezius, infraspinatus, and brachialis muscles are most active at the beginning of the pull-up; the latissimus dorsi, teres major, and biceps brachii reach peak activity during the middle of the movement, and the triceps brachii and subscapularis experienced maximum activity at the top of the movement. There is similarity to the pull-down in terms of the muscle activation.
A 2017 study found that pronated grip activated the middle trapezius more than the neutral grip, but that overall the muscle activation of different grip variants was similar. Muscle activation is significantly different depending on whether the pull-up is completed individually or in a set without resting between repetitions, which is more efficient due to muscle and tendon strech-shortening rebound.
Overhead movements such as pull-ups reduce the subacromial space and create a risk of shoulder impingement. According to one study, the pronated grip pull-up with hands at shoulder width apart led to less risk of impingement than other variations studied.
Pull-ups can be done with a supinated, neutral, or pronated grip; devices allow the grip to rotate during the pull-up. The pull-up performed with an supinated grip is sometimes called a chin-up. A pull-up may be completed using different widths of hand position; studies have found that participants freely choose a grip that is between 20 and 50 percent wider than shoulder width. A grip that is too wide could increase the injury risk or reduce the number of repetitions able to be completed due to lengthening the lever arm.
Pull-ups are a common way to measure upper body strength, endurance, and strength-to-weight ratio. The strength to do a pull-up is correlated with job-related tasks in some careers such as firefighting, police, and military.
Pull-ups are used as a conditioning activity for many sports, especially those that require pulling strength, including rock climbing, gymnastics, rope climbing, rowing, and swimming. They are also used by police and military to increase muscular strength among their members.
Some organizations allow women to use a flexed arm hang as a substitute for a pull up in fitness tests after discovering that few female recruits could complete a pull-up. According to a 2003 study in college-age women, one third of participants were able to complete a pull-up after a twelve-week full-body strength training program.
The Guinness World Record for the most consecutive pull-ups was set by Japan Coast Guard diver Kenta Adachi in 2022 with 651 pull-ups, taking 87 minutes. The Guinness World Record for the maximum amount of weight added to a weighted pull-up was set by David Marchante of Spain in 2016, with 104.55 kilograms (230.5 lb).
What is clear is that the pull-up can improve your overall strength and is transferable to many other activities and exercises, such as climbing, gymnastics, or even wrestling. Being stronger at the pull-up is being stronger at life, with improved grip strength and stronger back, arm, and core muscles.
You can focus more on your pulling muscles, which improves your mind-muscle connection and provides quality volume to the target muscles. This will give you the best chance of building a well-developed back.(2)(3)
Grip strength can be easily overlooked, but is actually invaluable. Most exercises, even for the lower body, use your hands. The pull-up can improve your grip because you are required to lift your entire body and connect yourself to the bar.
This will directly be transferable to other pulling exercises and deadlift variations, but strong forearms and grip will also stabilize your wrists during pressing exercises such as the bench press, and can improve overall wrist, elbow, and shoulder joint health.(4) Grip strength is also linked to longevity and general health, which is a hefty bonus.(5)
Loop a durable resistance band around the bar and let it hang down. Put your feet in it, keeping your legs straight and your body tense. Now start pulling. The feeling and overall technique is very close to the unassisted bodyweight pull-up, so it will have plenty of direct carryover.
Set yourself under a fixed bar and grab it using a pronated (palms down) grip. Flex your core and legs so that your body is tense and in a straight line. Now, pull your chest to the bar. The inverted row is efficient because you can easily scale it down or up.
During the pull-up, take a deep breath in and flex your abs as much as you can to prevent excessive swinging, which would otherwise alter the efficiency and mechanics of the lift. To recruit your core even more, straighten your legs and hold them together. If you still have trouble preventing swaying, take a few seconds between each rep to reset yourself and ensure picture perfect form.
You have to keep your chest up and your back slightly arched if you want to avoid injuries and train the target muscles correctly. Keep in mind that it will always be better to do fewer repetitions with better form. Doing your pull correctly will ensure you use your lats as efficiently as possible.
Pull-up resistors are very common when using microcontrollers (MCUs) or any digital logic device. This tutorial will explain when and where to use pull-up resistors, then we will do a simple calculation to show why pull-ups are important.
Let's say you have an MCU with one pin configured as an input. If there is nothing connected to the pin and your program reads the state of the pin, will it be high (pulled to VCC) or low (pulled to ground) It is difficult to tell. This phenomena is referred to as floating. To prevent this unknown state, a pull-up or pull-down resistor will ensure that the pin is in either a high or low state, while also using a low amount of current.
For simplicity, we will focus on pull-ups since they are more common than pull-downs. They operate using the same concepts, except the pull-up resistor is connected to the high voltage (this is usually 3.3V or 5V and is often refereed to as VCC) and the pull-down resistor is connected to ground.
The general rule for condition 2 is to use a pull-up resistor (R1) that is an order of magnitude (1/10th) less than the input impedance (R2) of the input pin. An input pin on a microcontroller has an impedance that can vary from 100k-1MΩ. For this discussion, impedance is just a fancy way of saying resistance and is represented by R2 in the picture above. So, when the button is not pressed, a very small amount of current flows from VCC through R1 and into the input pin. The pull-up resistor R1 and input pin impedance R2 divides the voltage, and this voltage needs to be high enough for the input pin to read a high state.
Since pull-up resistors are so commonly needed, many MCUs, like the ATmega328 microcontroller on the Arduino platform, have internal pull-ups that can be enabled and disabled. To enable internal pull-ups on an Arduino, you can use the following line of code in your setup() function:
Another thing to point out is that the larger the resistance for the pull-up, the slower the pin is to respond to voltage changes. This is because the system that feeds the input pin is essentially a capacitor coupled with the pull-up resistor, thus forming a RC filter, and RC filters take some time to charge and discharge. If you have a really fast changing signal (like USB), a high value pull-up resistor can limit the speed at which the pin can reliably change state. This is why you will often see 1k to 4.7KΩ resistors on USB signal lines.
Methods: Twenty-five males were evaluated for maximum number of pull-ups, one-repetition maximum lat pull (1RM Lat Pull), lat pull repetitions at 80% 1RM (Lat Pull at 80% 1RM), lat pull repetitions at a load equivalent to body mass (Lat Pull at BM-load), and different anthropometric variables. Furthermore, the subjects were divided in higher (HPG, N.=12) and lower pull-up performance (LPG, N.=13) to compare the differences in the variables analyzed between both levels.
Conclusions: These findings suggest that pull-up and lat pull exercises have common elements. Moreover, the anthropometric dimensions seem to influence differently on both exercises, depending on the strength indicator evaluated.
Because pull-ups utilise many muscles in one movement, they are known as a compound exercise. Compound exercises mimic natural movement and help improve coordination, reaction time and balance. They also train the nervous system and muscle tissue at the same time (as opposed to isolation exercises).
Movements like pull-ups are not just about building strength, they can have a positive impact on your overall health too! According to a 2012 study published in Current Sports Medicine Reports, resistance training has been shown to drastically improve overall health, and is connected to better overall physical performance, walking speed, control of movement, and cognitive ability.
To do a negative pull-up, place your hands in an overhand grip just wider than shoulder-width apart. Use a box or sturdy chair to jump up to the top of the pull-up movement so that your chest is touching the bar. Then, slowly lower your body down until you reach the star