Can’t pump out 20 straight? That may not be such a bad thing, especially if your alignment isn’t quite there yet. This exercise targets the lats, which is one of the most underused muscles in the body, especially for women. To get the benefits of a pull-up, the lats must be activated.
“You need to have your chest up with your abs engaged, and lead the pull with your elbows,” says Sulyn Silbar, orthopedic massage therapist and owner of Body + Mind NYC. “Most people cannot do them properly, as their lats aren’t working or aren’t strong enough, and therefore the body compensates by using the upper traps and chest to do the movement.” This can lead to short, tight pecs, or worse, shoulder issues.
Learn the pull-up using a band and checking your form in the mirror or with a certified trainer before you start knocking them out.