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5 Pull-Up Variations To Chisel Your Upper Body

Pull-ups are one of those staple exercises that seem deceptively straightforward, but actually engages a bulk of key muscles required to improve functionality, strength and physique. A slight variation in form and technique can focus on a different set of muscle fibres as well. In order to challenge yourself, and to get the best results, engage with these pull-up variations to really carve your upper body into shape.

WEIGHTED PULL-UPS

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For those who consider themselves pull-up pros, move on to including weights, whether with ankle weights or a weight belt. No matter a wide or close grip, weighted pull-ups tend to tax your upper body in the best way possible, allowing you to push through a plateau.

MUSCLE UP

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This is a foundational CrossFit exercise that takes awhile to master, despite looking very simple to execute. It combines a pull-up and a dip in one fluid move, needing you to push your torso above the bar. Start off in a false grip with your thumbs around the bar, and do a pull-up with your chin to the bar. Use your upper body strength to propel your chest over the bar, then press down while going into a dip.

CHIN UPS

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Chin ups utilise an underhand grip with your thumbs facing you. It is a move that really engages your biceps and lat muscles, creating thicker arms and back muscles when done right and regularly. Start off in an underhand grip, and pull yourself up, ensuring your chin goes beyond the bar like a standard pull-up.

ASSISTED ONE ARMED PULL UPS

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One armed pull ups are these fabled achievements that seem to be impossible, but can be done through proper training. Start off with assisted one armed pull ups, where your opposite, free hand is gripping your engaged wrist, carrying some of the weight as well. Once you're able to achieve this, you're definitely certified strong.

L PULL UPS

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This move combines a leg raise and a pull up into one move. When hanging, use your core to lock your legs in a parallel position to the ground and pull your chest up to the bar. Ensure your legs don't change their position or slacken. Extend your arms to return to starting position, and do as many as possible.

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