Pull-Ups…great back exercise…no further explanation necessary. THIS version of the pull-up takes things just a step further.
The Best Back Exercises You’ve Never Heard Of
It’s going to allow you target areas of your back that the normal pull-up has a hard time hitting..specifically the inner/lower aspect of the lats and the middle traps.
This is important for complete development and for maximizing the muscular detail of your back muscles. The lower/inner lats are extremely hard to target with most exercises, yet are critical for having a full, thick, “finished” look to your back rather than just having lats that fade away into the sunset towards your hips.
Middle trap development is generally lacking in most people due to the fact that these muscles are primarily responsible for the last bit of the range of motion when drawing the shoulder blades together…the very peak contraction.
Most people don’t ever fully engage the middle traps on rowing movements and therefore don’t get full development.
To do this one, you will need a rack…there are no other options here. It’s 100% necessary…because what you’re going to be doing is wedging your forearms against the vertical upright posts of the power rack as you’re doing the pull-up.
This wedging is going to allow you to add a very unique element of tension to the pull-up…simply because in addition to pulling up, you’re also PUSHING outwards against the uprights.
This changes the muscle activation pattern of the exercise, allowing the inner/lower aspect of the lats to engage strongly as well as forcing the middle-traps to activate.
This is a TOUGH exercise…you will need to be able to do at least 8 to 10 regular pull-ups first to do the full bodyweight version.
I will also show you a self-spotted version that you can do if you’re not there yet, or if you are but want to do drop sets to maximize workload.
First, either remove the safety rail on that side of the rack or set it low and out of the way.
Grip the top cross-beam of the rack, out as far as you can. Brace/wedge your forearms against the vertical posts.
You’ll notice with this one that the range of motion is not “full” simply because you do want to keep those forearms braced throughout the exercise.
You’re going to be starting about 1/4 of the way up. Now do a pull-up…again, FORCING your forearms outwards against the posts as you come up.
Instead of thinking “pulling” in your head as you up, I want you to think “pushing”…in other words, try to imagine as though you’re using your forearms to PUSH your body up rather than pull it up.
You will still, of course, be pulling up…just the change in your mental muscle activation pattern will help you to keep forcing your forearms outwards, which is critical.
As you come to the top, you will feel a TREMENDOUS contraction in the inner/lower lat area as the fan-shaped “insertion” points of the lats are really forced to activate fully ,possibly for the first time ever!.
Pull/push yourself up as high as you possibly can and hold the contraction at the top for a second or two.
Now lower yourself down under control, making sure you only come down as far as you can go without letting the forearms come off the rack uprights. We want to keep exerting continuous outwards pushing tension for the entire duration of the exercise here.
If you’re not strong enough for the full version…
You can use the safety rail of the rack to set your feet on and do self-spotter pull-ups. Use leg power to help get your body up to perform the exercise.
This works GREAT if you’re not quite strong enough for full bodyweight or used as a drop-set, after you’ve finished your set of full bodyweight pull-ups.
Bottom line, this is a TOUGH exercise that will really challenge your back in ways it may NEVER have experienced before. If your back training needs a shake-up, you’ll get a very unique application of tension with this exercise…it’s going to target your back in a whole new way!
Post time: Mar-10-2018