Get the lowdown on basic punches, gear, and shadowboxing.Read article
The pullup is one of the best exercises for building a dense, wide, and strong back. And a simple grip switch can better target the benefits: An underhand grip will zero in on the biceps; a close-grip hits the lower lats. But adding weight—holding a medicine ball, kettlebell, or dumbbell between your knees or feet, or hooking weight to a weight belt—will increase demand on all the muscles and force your upper back and arms to work harder to lift the entire mass.
That said, using a kettlebell has an overlooked advantage. Since it hangs lower than a dumbbell or plate would, it provides greater resistance and therefore requires more effort to complete each rep. For this reason, start with a KB that’s lighter than what you would use with the other tools mentioned.
Aim to complete at least 10 bodyweight pullups with strict form before adding weight.