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8 Exercises to Do on a Pull-Up Bar


If you've got a pull-up bar at home, you've got everything you need for an epic workout! With just the bar and your bodyweight, you can work every single muscle in your body.
How is this possible? Simple: you can do push-ups, squats, and lunges for all the "push" exercises needed to shred chest, tricep, leg and shoulder muscles. The pull-up bar allows you to work all of the "pull" muscles: your back and biceps. Plus, with a pull-up bar, you can do a wide range of abs exercises!

Here are 8 awesome exercises to do on the pull-up bar:

  1. Pull-Ups -- Nothing works your back and shoulder muscles as effectively as pull-ups. Grip the bar with hands spread shoulder width apart, palms facing away. Pull up until your chin touches the bar, then lower.
  2. Chin-Ups -- Yet another classic, the chin-up focuses on your biceps. Grip the bar with your palms facing TOWARD you, and feel the burn in your biceps as you pull upward. It's excellent for your anterior deltoids as well.
  3. Toes Above Bar -- This is an excellent core workout, and a very hard one to do! Hang from the bar, and, keeping your legs perfectly straight, bring them up to touch your feet to the bar. Slowly lower, and repeat. It's an amazing workout, as it engages your core on both the concentric (lift) and eccentric (lower) phases.
  4. Knee Raises -- If you're new to ab workouts, this is a great exercise to start with. Hang from the bar, letting your legs hang down. Engage your abs and bring your knees to your chest, then slowly lower them until your legs are extended once again. Your forearms will be burning by the time you finish this movement!
  5. The Climber Pull-Up -- If you think you've got what it takes to be hardcore, this is the exercise for you. Do a regular pull-up, but before lowering yourself, shift your weight to the right, then to the left. It's incredibly tough to do, but it's amazing for building strong shoulder, arm, and back muscles.
  6. Negative Pull-Ups -- This exercise focuses on the eccentric (lower) phase of the movement, and it shreds your biceps in a brand new way. Stand on a chair and grip the bar like you are doing a pull up, then step off the chair and slowly lower yourself until your arms are extended.
  7. Windshield Wipers -- Talk about taking it to the next level! This is a core workout only for the most hardcore. Grip the bar in the chin-up position (palms facing you) and keeping your legs straight, swing them from right to left, mimicking the motion of a windshield wiper. Swing them back from left to right, and repeat as desired.
  8. Hanging Reverse Shrugs -- Want to hit those traps without doing shrugs? Grip the bar with your palms facing you, and keep your arms perfectly straight. Moving only your shoulders, try to push the shoulder blades downward and away from your ears. You'll feel the burn in your traps, and it's a great isolation movement.
Pull-up bar exercises are not for the faint of heart, but boy are they effective!

What Is Resistance Exercise?

Some people get lucky and are born with fit, toned bodies. Andy Peloquin is not one of those people... Fitness has come hard for him, and he's had to work for it. His trials have led him to becoming a martial artist, an NFPT-certified fitness trainer, and a man passionate about exercise, diet and healthy living. He loves to exercise -- he does so six days a week -- and loves to share his passion for fitness and health with others.

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