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From the Desk of Dr. Len

Can't do pull ups - Try 'Inverted' pull ups

Dr. Len Lopez - Thursday, May 08, 2014

 

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Pull-ups have long been considered the best body weight exercise for your back and biceps. Unfortunately about 85% of the population can’t do pull-ups. This is mainly because of the difficulty in doing pull-ups, as well as, the inconvenience of having to bolt a pull-up bar to your doorway.

 

So, if you’ve over-looked pull-ups, you need to look at doing inverted pull-ups so you don't neglect half your upper body.


Push-ups target your chest, shoulders and triceps....half your upper body.


Pull-ups work your back, biceps and forearms ....the other half of your upper body!


If you overlook pull-ups and only do push-ups, you are creating muscle imbalance, which can lead to upper back and neck pain.  If you are in that 85% of the population who can’t do pull-ups try ‘inverted’ pull ups or as some people call them ‘Australian’ pull-ups. Basically you are using a pull up bar that stands about 30 inches off the ground. This allows you to slide underneath the bar and keep your feet on the ground.

 

The benefit of inverted pull-ups is that it allows you to ‘off-load’ about a third of your body weight, which makes pull-ups possible for both men and women.  You receive the same benefit of free standing pullups that are so often overlooked because most people can't do pull-ups.

 

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You will often see people at the gym doing ‘inverted or modified’ pull ups on a Smith machine or squat rack, but for those who can’t afford that type of equipment for their home you can simply bolt a door mounted pull-up bar about 30 inches off the ground and you’re ready to go. 


If bolting something to your doorway isn't your thing, I would take a look at the WorkHorse Fitness Trainer.  It's a portable pull-up bar that lets you do inverted pull-ups without the need of bolting anything to a doorway or a doorway for that matter.   It's a light-weight, free standing, portable pull-up and push-up bar that folds up for easy storage.  Best of all, you can workout anywhere....the living room, the office, outside or on the road.

 

Another reason I like inverted pull-up more than regular pull-ups, is that it targets those neglected muscles between your shoulder blades, which happen to be the direct antagonist to your chest muscles.  


Too many people have tight chest muscles due to too much computer, office work, cell phones, texting, driving, cooking, etc....anything that pulls your shoulders forward throughout the day.  


This leads to muscle imbalance and the major cause of unexplained upper back pain.  So to help restore that imbalance to your upper torso and reduce upper back and neck pain, give inverted pull-ups a try.  You'll be amazed as to how good of an upper body workout you can get for your back and biceps, as well as, reduce that nagging upper back pain.


The takeaway, is that if you are only doing push-ups and overlook pull-ups - you're neglecting half your upper body.  Don't make that mistake, give inverted pull-ups a try if you can't do pull-ups!


 

 


 

 






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