Why Are Pull-Ups So Hard | Body Weight Training | Portland Personal Trainer

Without question the most difficult basic body-weight exercise is the pull-up.  There is a reason that it is a benchmark of physical fitness for the military.  The reason pull-ups are so hard is because they are the truest body-weight exercise.  When you are performing a pull-up, you are legitimately pulling up your entire body weight, unlike in a push-up, where part of your body-weight is still supported by your feet.  This, coupled with the relative weakness of the back in comparison to the chest in most people, makes the pull-up a truly challenging, but truly vital exercise.Something that people forget to take into account when trying to do a pull-up is their own weight.  Heavier people are going to have a tougher time performing a pull-up than lighter people are.  It doesn't matter how strong or heavily-muscled you are; a pull-up will be harder if you weigh 200 pounds than if you weigh 150 pounds.  The 200 pound person may be objectively stronger than the 150 pound person, but because the 150 pound person has to lift less, they will be better at pull-ups.  Another factor that makes a pull-up particularly challenging is people’s propensity to work out muscles they can see in the mirror.  People tend to make their chests stronger than their backs, which leads to an unbalanced body and a characteristic hunch.  Working out the back by doing pull-ups is vital, because it will keep your body balanced and your back straight.  This means that it is important to do pull-ups even in the most simple, basic workout, because it will strengthen the antagonistic muscles of a push-up.  The push-up works the triceps and chest, the pull-up the biceps and back.  Therefore, in order to keep your body balanced, pull-ups need to be added to any workout routine.It’s hard to do a pull up, but by starting with a lat pull-down machine or modified pull-ups with a spotter or a chair, it is possible to build up enough strength to be able to perform pull-ups with relative ease.  The transition will even happen relatively quickly, and after only a few months of doing pull-ups, you’ll find that you can do them with no problems.The Art of Personal Training by Kisar Dhillon 107 SE Washington StreetSuite 137Portland, Oregon 97214503-953-0241