If you’re trying to build a big back, you’d better make sure to include a pull-up routine. Pull-ups are a fundamental bodyweight exercise that stimulates your back muscles like no other movement. Furthermore, pull-ups also work other body parts to make it a great exercise to build functional strength as well as aesthetics.
If you’re a beginner and having a hard time lifting your body weight, don’t worry, as most gyms have assisted pull-up machines. On the other hand, you can use thick tension bands that hook around the bars and strap around your feet, giving you an extra lift to get those reps in.
LEARN THE BEST PULL-UP ROUTINE YOU CAN FOLLOW TO BUILD YOUR LATS
1. WIDE GRIP PULL-UPS (PRONATED GRIP) 4 SETS X MAXIMUM AMOUNT OF REPS
Wide grip pull-ups are a great beginner routine because they isolate the lats more than the other variations. This makes the exercise harder to complete and so it is best to start with the wide grip in order to maximise your lat stimulation.
Grab the overhead bar with a pronated grip 6 inches wider than shoulder width on both sides. A pronated grip means your palms will be facing away from you.
Once you’re ready, begin the movement by first squeezing your shoulder blades back. Then, using as much of the lats as possible without activating your arms, raise your body so your chin or upper chest touches the bar. Hold at the top for one second, then in a controlled manner, lower your body to the starting position.
2. CLOSE GRIP PULL-UPS (USING V-GRIP) 4 SETS X MAXIMUM AMOUNT OF REPS
The beauty of this exercise is you can be a little more creative than the standard wide grip. Hang a V-Grip extension on the overhead bar. Grip the V-Grip and, as you raise your body, pull your chin up to one side. Lower back down in a controlled manner, then back up again to the opposite side.
On your third repetition, pull straight up to the middle. This variation is a little easier to complete because it engages the arms more. However, since your lats are already fatigued from the wide grip movement, having your arms help out will be a great way to get some extra reps in.
3. MEDIUM GRIP PULL-UPS/CHIN UPS (SUPINATED GRIP) 4 X MAXIMUM NUMBER OF REPS
This is a great way to finish your pull-up back workout because it is the exercise that engages your biceps more than the previous two. Since you’ve already completed eight sets to failure, the extra effort from the biceps will provide your lats with the assistance they need. Grip the bar just outside shoulder width with your palms facing towards you (supinated grip).
Although your biceps are doing more work in this variation, make sure you’re still keeping as much of the tension on your lats as possible. Use your biceps only when you absolutely need to.
Completing this program is no easy feat. Before starting, ensure that you are properly warmed up and stretched. Maximise it even by adding a pull-up routine to change things up and really build your functional strength.