A wide back is a key element of a V-tapered physique, in addition to a big chest, broad shoulders, large arms, narrow waist, and chiseled abs. Pull-ups is one of the exercises known to develop a wider back.
Pull-ups is viewed as one of the most friendly exercises, not only in Hollywood, but also in the world. According to Natty Or Not, pull-ups done on a home pull-up bar are always part of the training sequence in 90 percent of the film. As a result, people who are new into fitness and bodybuilding are enticed by inexpensive doorway pull-up bars and buy they right away.
The pulling muscles are all at work during pull-ups, but the latissimus dorsi, also known as the lats stand as the portion of the back that receives most of the workload. This is due to the vertical motion in pulling, since the upper arms become closer to the body from an overhead position. The stress placed on the upper back is then reduces and is geared toward the lats. This is evident when the pull-up is properly executed. While pull-ups put emphasis to the back muscles, the workout also utilize the muscles of the arms, the forearms, and even the abdominals. This is a rationale behind the tenderness many experience when they train after a long period of sedentary lifestyle.
A variation of pull-ups is the close-grip pull-ups. This version of the pull-ups is best for those who are targeting to have a wider back, as the range of motion of the routine is longer and it easily stimulates the latissimus dorsi. A note to consider in doing the narrow-grip pull-up is not swinging the body up to the bar, since it would change the motion pattern and would be considered as a different exercise. In addition, swing and momentum are not proper in doing pull-ups, according to Bod Bot. As per the publication, a machine apparatus might be used to aid the body and make the routine easier. One may also have a partner who can assist or have the feet placed inside elastic bands coiled around the pull-up bar.
In terms of difficulty, the wide-grip pull-up is viewed as more challenging than the close-grip pull-up. According to Live Strong, the reason is that the latissimus dorsi and the other back muscles have to life a higher percentage of body weight in a wide-grip pull-up than the close-grip pull-up. In performing the former, the palms face forward, with the hands a few inches outside the shoulder width. On the other hand, performing the close-grip pull-up involves pulling-up, reaching up and grasping the bar with the hands at shoulder width and with the palms facing forward.
Another pull-up variant is the underhand-grip pull-up, also called chin-ups or chins. According to Body Building, this variation of pull-ups involves an underhand, reverse grip where the palms of the hands are facing the person during the exercise. It also puts emphasis on the biceps due to the position of the arms. To perform the routine, the person grasps the bar with a reverse grip, with palms about six to eight inches apart. As per the publication, it is important to avoid relaxing the muscles too much while hanging oneself in the initial position, since doing so could put stress on the shoulder joints. The person pulls himself up trying to touch his chin or upper chest to the bar, with the use of the biceps, latissimus dorsi, and back muscles. Once final position is reached, one can slowly go back to the initial position. As for all variations of pull-ups, it is important to keep the legs straight or bent or crossed throughout the routine, in addition to not swinging back and forth.
When bodyweight is not enough or no longer enough, one may add more resistnace by suspending weight plates from the waist using a dipping belt.