Pull ups are one of the very best and most effective exercises there is for building massive strength and definition in your upper body. This is a move that will hit the lats, the biceps and the core to a large extent as well.
What’s even more impressive about the humble pull up is that it doesn’t require much equipment at all. You can get a pull up bar to fit into your door frame and that will cost you about $10. From there it’s just you and your body weight!
But wait, it gets better! Not only are pull ups incredible as they are but they also give you the option to perform a large number of different variations and more challenging movements to mix things up a bit. You can even use variations to make the movement easier, or to move the focus to another part of the body.
Here are some of the most interesting and brutal variations from Jeff Cavaliere himself…
Some of these moves are pretty challenging and you might find yourself feeling a bit left out there if you can’t do them. Never fear though! All you need to do is to add in a resistance band and you can make a variation of these variations. That way, you can perform even the hardest pull ups and build up to being able to do them without help.
Loop the resistance band over the bar and then stand on it, or even loop two of them over your elbows.
Now it’s time to see those variations…
Around the Worlds
This is a challenging move that puts the focus even more on the lats. Essentially, you’ll be holding your body up slightly with your elbows at right angles and you’ll then gradually move your body in a clockwise or anti-clockwise motion to draw a circle. This means you increase time under tension and it also looks awesome.
1 ½ Pull Ups
This is a pull up followed by a partial. Pull your way all the way to the top, then pull up half of the way and then repeat. This is tougher than it sounds!
Hanging Bat Pull Ups
Hanging with your legs tucked and back parallel to the bar, you’re now going to pull yourself up and down with your body tucked.
Angled Pull Ups
These are pull ups where you pull up more on one side and then do the same on the other side. This slightly isolates a single arm/lat and is great for building up to a one-armed pull up.
Over/Under Pull Ups
Alternate between going in front of the bar and behind the bar.
Commando Pull Ups
Hang from the bar facing along the length of it (which may mean facing your door frame). Now hold the bar with both hands, directly above your head and pull up to one side then the other (otherwise you’ll hit your noggin). This is once again a good way to isolate each arm and it looks very cool as well.