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Workout Finisher: Pull-Up Insanity for a Bigger Back

Utilize the good ol' pull-up as a workout finisher to get a wider, more well-developed back.

By Jeremey DuVall, M.S., CPT
pull-ups for bigger back muscles

Big arms may look cool during the summer months, but it’s hard to show off those biceps during colder weather where sleeves take precedence over impressing the opposite sex. One main feature does stick out—your back. Having a well-developed back builds a wider frame helping you show off a dominating physique even during the winter months.

Rather than relying solely on a variety of lat pull-downs and pull-overs to help you grow your back, utilize a traditional bodyweight staple - the pull-up. By activating nearly every muscle in your back (not to mention your core and arms as well), the pull-up can help you add volume after you’ve finished your back routine. This finisher utilizes a particular type of intensity progression called mechanical advantage drop sets. Essentially, you will start off with your weakest position then gradually move to a stronger one as you fatigue. Try this finisher to take your back to the next level in size and strength.

Directions: Perform as many reps as possible at each grip resting 30 seconds between each set. After performing all grips, rest two minutes before repeating. Aim to complete three rounds.

1. Wide Grip, as many reps as possible

Grab a pull-up bar with your hands wider than shoulder-width apart and using an overhand grip. Depress your shoulder blades and pull your chin above the bar.

Rest 30 seconds

2. Parallel Grip, as many reps as possible

Grab a bar with a parallel grip (palms facing eachother). Drive your elbows towards your side as you pull yourself over the bar.

Rest 30 seconds

3. Chin-up Grip, as many reps as possible

Using a supinated or underhand grip, pull your chin over the bar. Be sure to keep your stomach tight to prevent breaking form.

Rest 2 minutes before repeating.

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