Pull-ups are one of the hardest exercises you can do because they obviously require you to lift your entire bodyweight whilst hanging from a bar. Indeed many people find that they can’t even complete one rep when they first join a gym because they simply don’t have the strength in their arms and upper body.
However once you complete your first rep with perfect form, it does start to become easier, particularly if you are training regularly in the gym because you will have a lot more strength to perform this exercise.
Subsequently you will start to develop your arms, shoulders, back and core abdominal muscles if you continue doing lots of pull-ups on a regular basis.
Most people are happy just to do a standard pull-up, but there are actually lots of different variations that you can try, all of which will target different muscle groups, with some being harder than others.
To highlight this point, here is a video from a beast of a man who demonstrates 35 different pull-up exercises:
One easy way to target different muscle groups and vary the resistance is to either push your arms out to the side to do a wide grip pull-up or bring them closer together to do a close grip pull-up. You can also do the same thing with chin-ups (where the palms of your hands are facing inwards instead of outwards) to give you another three variations.
As highlighted in the video, you can also bring your knees up and tuck them into your body to add variation to this exercise, or extend your legs outwards in front of you for even more of a challenge.
You can also use an alternative grip, where one hand is gripping on to the bar facing outwards and the other is facing towards you, but I’m not sure I would be comfortable doing this particular exercise because of the risk of injury.
Another variation that is very effective is the explosive pull-up, where you bring your head well above the height of the bar, and you can also do an inverted L pull-up and similar variations, which again are very hard for most people to do, but are very effective at working different areas of your upper body.
Finally, there are a few variations that are more of a side to side movement as opposed to an up and down movement. These look incredibly difficult, and I think you would have to be in peak physical condition to be able to do them, but they are something else for you to try once you reach a certain level.
The point is that this is a really useful video if you are keen to develop your upper body and increase your overall strength because these 35 exercises are all very effective, and if you really want to see how strong you are, you could also do one-arm pull-ups as well because these were not included in this video.