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Gaining Muscle Pull Ups

Calisthenics Explained Are Bodyweight Exercises Good For Building Muscle

Exercises that uses only the weight of yourbody as resistance are known as calisthenics. And, just as any other quot;resistancequot; training,the goal in performing calisthenics is to promote muscle growth and strength. Originatingfrom the Greek words quot;kalo,quot; which means quot;beautyquot;, and quot;sthenosquot;, which means quot;strength,quot; calisthenicsrose into prominence in the 19th century by the quot;father of gymnasticsquot; Freidrich LudwigJahn, and fitting enough, there's nothing really that is a better embodiment of quot;beautyquot;and quot;strengthquot; than gymnastics. Since calisthenics uses your body's weightas resistance, it's also known as bodyweight exercises. And the big question about bodyweightexercises is how effective it is for building

muscle and strength, or if it's as effectiveas lifting weights. To understand this, we need to understandhow our muscles grow and get stronger. Muscular and strength adaptation occur when a stimulus,or resistance, is applied to the corresponding muscle at a high enough intensity to invokemuscle overload. Simply put, the more weight you move with your muscles, the more yourmuscles adapt and become bigger and stronger. But it doesn't mean that any type of weightmovement will work. Take jogging, for example, although can be very taxing on the heart musclesand promote cardiac muscle growth, it will not promote much skeletal muscle growth, noteven in your legs. The problem here is that

the stimulus is not strong enough to targetall the leg's muscle fibers. If you've watched the muscle fibers tutorial before, you will understandthat we have three different muscle fiber types, one of which is used for endurance,known as type I, and the other two are used to provide great amounts of force, known astype 2 fibers. Since running doesn't require large amounts of force from your legs, type2 fibers are hardly fatigued and not a lot of muscle growth occurs. It's also the reasonwhy many do not consider jogging as a calisthenics exercise even though it only utilizes yourbody's weight. But other calisthenics exercises do, in fact, illicit high enough of a demandto hit those larger muscle fibers. Take a

pullup, for example, where on average, peoplecan hardly even do 5, the movement demands all fiber types to fire and eventually exhaust,thus promoting muscle growth. Pushups is another good example of a calisthenicsexercise that can illicit muscle growth, especially for beginners that struggle to do even 10.But eventually you will run into the problem of not having enough resistance. As toughas it may be to get to your first 10 pushups, eventually 10 will be just an easy warmup.When you start hitting 20, 25, or 30 pushups easily, then we run into the same problemas we saw with running. Of course, you can definitely modify the pushup to make it tougher,such as elevating your feet on a platform,

but ultimately you're not changing the amountof demand on the muscle groups involved in a standard pushup, instead you begin shiftingthe muscles involved in the movement. With feetelevated pushups, you anterior shouldersbegin taking the brunt of the resistance instead of your chest. So if you wanted to build yourchest, you won't have enough resistance. And you might be thinking, quot;Why not just add someweight on your backéquot; Well, at that point, it's no longer just bodyweight, thus no longercalisthenics. The next natural progression is using weights.As great as calisthenics can be, there will a point where certain muscle groups, especiallythe strong muscle groups such as your chest,

legs, and hips, will eventually need greaterresistance. Also, since calisthenics require you using multiple muscle groups to performan exercise, which isn't a bad thing at all in terms of natural and functional development,but it does make it tough to isolate certain muscles. Now, that's not to say that calisthenicscannot build an aesthetically appealing body. After all, you have guys looking like thisfrom performing just bodyweight exercises, but when you compare them to this, there'sa clear difference in muscle growth between the two regimens. Heck, even Olympic gymnastshave to use weights to push their maximum potential.


What's up, guysé Jeff Cavaliere, AthleanX . The pull up, by far, one of the best exercisesthat you could do, but so many people struggle to do it. As a matter of fact, if you flipyour hands up underneath and do a chin up you might find that you're able to do a hellof a lot more than you can of the pull up. The fact is, people are puzzled by why thatis. I'll tell you today, the answer doesn't even rely on your back, but probably in yourarm. You see, one of the biggest problems that people have when they're trying to dopull ups is a weakness in the brachia radialis muscle.

That's a muscle that runs from our upper armdown, it crosses our forearm and then inserts down here in our forearm. So you can see it'sthis muscle right here. You can grab that wad of muscle right up in there and that's'what we're talking about. When it operates the most is when we're ina pronated position and then we're flexing our elbow, or bending our elbow. What arewe doing here when we're doing a pull upé We get in this position here, we're in a pronatedposition, hands over, we go here and our arms are straight, elbows are pretty much straight,and then when we come up we're flexing the elbow into this pronated position.

You can see, I think, from there that thismuscle pops out a lot. If you'll come up here I'll show you. Again, when I do a pull upI come down and you see it pops out right here, again, with that pronated grip. If I go underhand I don't have that anymore.That contribution is gone. So it's here that when I come down, every time I pull a lotof pull is being exerted through that muscle. If you have a weakness there you're goingto struggle to do pull ups where you might be able to still continue to do chin ups.What are you supposed to do in order to get better at pull upsé

Well, I always advocate doing pull ups becausedoing the exercise is going to strengthen the muscles that are required for the exercise. So you might want to put the resistance bandon the pull up bar and allow yourself to unweight some of the bodyweight that you're tryingto lift and get better that way. You could certainly do exercises directlyfor the brachia radialis and most of them are probably ones that you've done before,but a lot of times we ignore them because we stick to the same old exercises like bicepcurls. It would be more of a reverse curl. So youhave your hands overhand, this way, and then

you reverse curl up, backward. You can gointo a hammer curl here, where you come up in this neutral grip position. So the thumb is in line here with my arm andI come up and do a hammer curl – straight up and down – or you could do a hammer curland then pronate it and go down slow you get that eccentric in here through that muscle. Whatever you do, you just want to make surethat you've got this pronated grip here whether you maintain that through the whole thing,or have to work in the beginning to supinate on the way up first.

This is your strength – your bicep here– but then pronate on the way down. That might be where you want to start. The ideais: don't neglect that muscle if you're trying to get better at the pull up exercise. A lot of times, because it's not somethingthat's right here in our back that we're focusing on when we do the exercise, a lot of us willignore it and forget all about it. Not here at AthleanX, guys. Not if you wantto start training like an athlete and overlook nothing in your training, you want to makesure you're doing everything you need to do to optimize what you're doing here in thegym.

Pullups vs Chinups The BIG Differences

What's up, guysé Jeff Cavaliere, ATHLEANX.COM. The Pull Up or the Chin Upé Which one's betteré Well, how about we cover them both and talkabout everything we need to know about these 2 exercises. Right off the bat understanding the differencebetween the 2 is critically important. When we're talking about our Pull Ups, we'retalking about an overhand grip up here on the bar. And when we're talking about a Chin Up, thehands are facing us this way.

Now, it doesn't matter which exercise youdo. We're not trying to call one out versus theother. There are some common things that are great about both of these exercises. First and foremost, they're recognized asthe king of the bodyweight exercises. And some will even argue that they're the kingof the upper body exercise when you weight them. Number 2. It's an incredible back and corestabilizer. We've talked about it so many times.

As a matter of fact in one of our most recenttutorials, how important the lats are to stabilize the body for the bigger lift so that you can start to lift more on yourDeadlifts, in your Squats, on your Bent Rows. Thirdly, it's a great indicator of your bodycomposition and where you're sitting at the moment. Big guys can struggle doing Pull Ups, butthat's usually big, fat guys. Big, muscular guys can do Pull Ups. They reallycan. It doesn't matter that they're pulling a lotmore weight, proportionally, they should be

strong enough to be able to handle that. I've got 250 pound athletes that can do MuscleUps, let alone Pull Ups. So we have to understand that if we are bigand struggling with our Pull Ups, we might want to start looking at our bodycomp and working on reducing all that excess body fat. Alright now, if you want to start gettinginto the 'one versus the other', we really can do this very simply. We have to break down the exercise into themotions that we can understand and relate

them to so we know what's going on. When we look at a Pull Up, again, I talkedabout, we have a hands over, an overhand grip. Now whether that's thumbless or whether thethumbs are wrapped around the bar, that's more of a technique thing. I find that if we leave the thumb off thebar, we now have our hands act as hooks and we can initiate the pull from our lat'smore where we can actually take advantage of the strength of those big muscles. And then we know on the underhand grip herefor a Chin Up, that we're getting the added

benefit of our biceps to actually contributeto the exercise as well. So, when people say, 'Which is betteré', it'snot which is better. One sort of hits the biceps preferentiallywhereas the other one, if done right, will hit the lats preferentially. So it looks, it's more about, 'What is thefocus of your training at the momenté' and it should always be both. You should always be doing both Pull Ups ANDChin Ups in your workouts, but it goes beyond that.

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