A pull-up is an upper-body strength training exercise that requires some sturdy object to pull yourself up. Most people will typically do pull-ups on a bar that is fashioned into the ground. However, there are ways to do the same exercise without a pull-up bar essentially. So how do you do pull-ups at home if you cannot go to the gym with readily available pull-up bars?
There are quite a few different ways to do a pull-up exercise at home. First and foremost, there are pull-up bars that you can temporarily fashion onto your door frame. With these, you can do pull-ups with ease if you are under a specific weight limit (determined by the bar).
If you cannot purchase one of these temporary pull-up bars, you can still do pull-ups. However, you are going to have to get a little crafty. The main things that you will need are a sturdy door and a towel or two. Alternatively, you can use a very sturdy table as well. What you will need to do is place the towels over the door and close it. Then, grab the towels and pull your body off of the ground.
As you continue to read this article, it will be discussing the proper pull-up form and the benefits of doing pull-ups. Along with that, this article will also be going in-depth with many different ways that you can achieve pull up like workouts at home.
What Is A Pull-up?
A pull-up is an upper body strength training exercise that makes you work out your upper back, shoulders, arms and improve grip strength. Pull-ups are an age-old workout that we have been doing for many years. Some historians believe that the pull-up exercise originated in the late 1840s to the early 1850s.
When it comes to doing the perfect pull-up, your form is crucial. Typically, you will do pull-ups on a bar, but there are ways to get around that require getting into later. Here are the steps to perform the perfect pull-up.
- Stand under the bar and grab it with both hands. The palms of your hand should be facing away from you and should be spread apart just past your shoulders.
- A genuine pull-up starts with a dead hang. When you hang from the bar, ensure your arms are completely extended, your core is engaged, and your shoulders are back. Strengthen your muscles by pulling your body up while maintaining your form in mind. Keeping your form in mind will help you avoid swinging, kicking, and jumping. This means you'll be mastering the motion utilizing your muscles rather than momentum.
- Begin the actual pull-up by gripping the bar with your hands while activating your upper body and core muscles. As your entire body moves toward the bar, imagine bringing your elbows down to your sides. Refrain from straining your neck to break the plane of the bar with your chin. Continue to pull until your chin easily clears the bar and your chest contacts it. Once your chest has touched the bar, you have completed the pull-up.
- Congratulations! You nailed the up portion of the pull-up. But you still have to get down. The secret is to return to the dead-hang gently. Maintain a tight grip on the bar while allowing your arms to straighten as you drop. You can count your first rep after you return to the dead-hang position.
What Are The Benefits Of Doing Pull-Ups?
Like all exercises, pull-ups come with a myriad of benefits to keep you in a good mood and keep you healthy. Below we are going to go over just a few of the benefits associated with pull-ups.
- Pull-ups strengthen your arms and shoulder muscles.
- Pull-ups are one of the most effective exercises when it comes to strengthening your back.
- Pull-ups significantly improve grip strength.
- Pull-ups improve your physical health
- Pull-ups improve your mental health
How To Do Pull-ups At Home
When it comes to working out at home, there are many different exercises that you can do to stay healthy. However, when it comes to pull-ups, you might have to be a little creative.
When you want to do pull-ups at home, the easiest solution is to buy a pull-up bar that you can put on and take off your door frame. Something like the Iron Age Doorway Pullup Bar is a perfect example of an installable pull-up bar that you can use in your home.
The most incredible thing about this bar is that it does not require any assembly. Instead, it features a one-of-a-kind smart hook technology that allows you to hook it onto your entryway. In addition, the carbon tubes that comprise the bars have a maximum weight capacity of 440 pounds, indicating that they can withstand a large load. Furthermore, the upper handlebar of this pull-up bar is 6 inches higher than standard pull-up bars, making it suitable for taller people.
As previously stated, there are ways that you can achieve pull-up-like exercises at home without having a solid pull-up bar. The simplest way to pull up workouts without a pull-up bar is to use a sturdy door, a towel or two, and a couple of rubber bands.
Open your door and place the towels over the top of the door. On one side of the door, fold up the towel and secure it with a few rubber bands. Once you close the door, lock it to be sure that the door stays shut. You should now be able to grip and pull on the towels without them slipping.
You can use this arrangement to do a few different pull-up-like exercises that we will describe below.
- Towel Body Row
© B-Fit Training Studios on Youtube
What you will want to do is grab on and hold the towels tightly and lean back. Something to remember is the closer your feet are to the door, the harder this workout will be. With that said, place your feet at a comfortable distance from the door, keeping them wide apart just past your shoulders.
Once you are in position, use your arms and upper back to pull on the towels until your chest is touching the door or standing straight up. While you are doing the body row in this fashion, you will want to keep your back straight, and as you pull yourself up, your shoulder blades will pinch together. If your shoulder blades are pinching together, you are doing the workout correctly.
You can increase the difficulty of this workout by doing negative body rows. Pull your body close to the door like usual; however, very slowly go back to the starting position. Try to do this over 5 seconds while only using your arms and upper back to move back.
- Towel Pull-Ups
© Structure Fitness on Youtube
Another exercise that you can do is more similar to an actual pull-up. With the towels over the top of the door, take a seat on the floor facing the door. Keep your feet on the floor, barely touching the door. Then, reach up and grab the towels with your hands and pull your body up using only your arms and upper body.
This workout is as close as you can get to doing actual pull-ups on a bar. However, as previously stated, you can further increase the difficulty of this workout by doing what are called negative pull-ups. After you have pulled yourself off the floor, you will need to slowly lower yourself back down. When doing negative pull-ups, try to lower yourself back to the starting position over 5 seconds.
- Doorway Rows
© The Mona Gym on Youtube
Instead of using a towel, you can use the door frame itself. Leave the door mostly open so that you can place your fingers on the opposite side of the door frame from where you are. Like the towel body rows, the closer your feet are to the door, the harder it will be.
Once your hands are in position, lean back and keep all of your weight supported by your arms. Then, pull yourself to the door opening using only your arms and your upper back for support.
Once again, you can do negative doorway rows by doing the same exercise but slowly lowering yourself back to the starting position over 5 seconds.
- Table Rows
© Andrew Heming on Youtube
For this, you will not need any towels or doors. Instead, you will need a very sturdy table. Lay on the floor under the table you have chosen with your legs straight underneath it. Place your hands on the top of the table and pull yourself up using your arms.
You can also do inverted table rows by laying your upper body under the table and gripping the top of it from underneath. Then, once again, pull yourself up with your arms.
Not only can you do negative table rows by lowering yourself to the floor over 5 seconds, but you can make it easier if you are new to working out. To make it easier, instead of keeping your legs outstretched, raise your knees and bring your feet closer to your body.
Pull-ups are a fantastic and age-old workout that humans have been doing since the early 1850s. The benefits that come with pull-ups will increase your health and make you feel better mentally. As this article comes to its end, we hope that these pull-up workouts at home help you stay healthy and in shape.