One of the ways you can stay fit on the road if a gym isn’t handy is body weight workouts and one of those exercises should be a staple of most Gents’ workout routines: pull-ups. They might intuitively seem like a great exercise (especially when we are struggling to do one more than last time) but there are lots of good reasons to do this simple exercise regularly.
Strengthen Your Back
While back muscles don’t get the photographic attention in a six-pack-obsessed culture, these muscles help keep us balanced and give us more overall functional strength. Strengthened muscles here can share the load and hence prevent injuries elsewhere.
Strengthen Your Chest, Shoulders, Arms, and Core
While pull-ups will help with your back, they will also help you strengthen your shoulders, forearms, and chest. When you do them properly, you’re also going to work on your abs. Regular pull-ups are going to help improve your muscle tone and definition in these areas.
Improve Your Grip Strength
That opening-pickle-jar skill that you’re called on for every so often? That’s part of grip strength. Same with using a hedge trimmer or reciprocating saw. Not working in your yard or shop? You’ll need grip strength for climbing, racquet sports, and lifting heavy weights. Pull-ups strengthen your hands and grip.
At the end of a set for deadlifting, grip strength is often part of the equation. As your grip strength grows, so can your deadlift numbers.
Improve Your Bone Density
Resistance training, like pull-ups, can increase bone density. By loading the bones, these exercises signal bones to lay down more cellular and mineral components for the bony matrix. Stronger muscles also pull more forcefully on bones when they contract, which also tells your body to deposit more minerals and strengthen the structure of your bones.
Improve Your Mood
Believe it or not, pull-ups can help reduce stress and anxiety and improve your mood. As with aerobic or cardio training, resistance training can reduce cortisol and produce endorphins, putting you in a better place after you’ve knocked out a few reps.
Better Your Overall Health
Regular resistance training, like pull-ups, can reduce blood pressure, lower waist circumference, improve blood sugar control and insulin sensitivity, decrease cholesterol and blood lipids, and improve body composition. These better markers can, in turn, reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity, and Type 2 diabetes.
Anytime you can knock out a set of pull-ups you’re going to feel good about yourself. Because there’s always more to do and different forms we can use in doing pull-ups, they provide us with the opportunity to continue to push ourselves in one particular workout, and use that as a springboard to perform better in other types of exercises.
Men who can knock out pull-ups feel more confident, strong, and capable, which is one more way to look and feel your best as a Gent.