My 12-year old son started his calisthenics journey a few months back. One of the questions that he had for me was: “Dad, can you do pull-ups every day?”. I explained to him that in my fitness experience, doing pull-ups every day is definitely possible. And I do pull-ups every day as the first thing in the morning.
The only problem with having such a steady schedule is that you risk overtraining your muscles. When that happens, you could cause yourself a lot of unnecessary pain—and eventually, give up on your goals of doing pull-ups every day.
Overtraining is what happens when you exert your muscles too much, without leaving them ample time to recover. As a result, you experience constant soreness, your muscles feel tired, and you are not able to perform as well as you once were. If you’re training your pull-ups every day, you risk overtraining your muscles, which could leave you feeling weak, and prevent you from seeing improvement in your shape.
The key is to go slow and steady. You can’t go from doing pull-ups once a week or a couple of times a week to doing them every day without an adjustment period. So can you do pull-ups every day? Yes, but you’re going to have to learn to manage your training properly so that it really brings you the benefits you expect.
Should You Do Pull Ups Every Day?
If you are not doing more than you can handle, and if you are sufficiently experienced in doing pull-ups, then the simple answer to this question is yes, you can do them every day. Many athletes and bodybuilders find that daily pull-ups are a quick and easy part of their routine: they can practice pull-ups first thing in the morning, or have a regular time at which they practice them from the comfort of their home. So what do you need to do before you can get to that stage? Well, first of all, you’re going to have to learn to do pull-ups properly.
Doing pull-ups with improper form every day is actually one of the worst things that you can do for your body. Secondly, you’ll want to start slow. Do pull-ups every other day for a few weeks, then try every day. If you can do twenty pull-ups, do fifteen, if you can only do five, do three. This will ensure that you are not overtraining your muscles. Over time, of course, you’ll be able to increase the number of reps and keep on doing more pull-ups each day.
What Happens When You Do Pull Ups Every Day?
So why would you want to do pull-ups every day in the first place? Well, for one, pull-ups are a great general exercise that works a lot of different muscle groups at once. They are also considered a “functional” strength exercise, meaning that they increase your muscle mass in a way that you can actually use. In other words, they don’t just make your arms bigger, but they make them a whole lot stronger too.
So one of the first things that you’ll notice when you start doing pull-ups every day is that you’ll get stronger. You’ll be able to lift heavier things off the ground, do push-ups more easily, you may even find yourself the winner if you ever get into a fistfight!
The second thing that you’re likely to notice is a quick improvement in your performance. By practicing pull-ups every single day, you’ll be amazed at how many more reps you’ll be able to do in the space of only a few weeks. This can make this exercise very satisfying, but be careful—there is a line between improving rapidly, and overdoing it!
Another thing that you’re sure to notice is that your body starts to change. Pull-ups really work your back muscles, which are often one of the most neglected muscle groups. This is a shame because they’re muscles that make you look very muscular easily. After a few months of doing pull-ups every day, expect to look more imposing, with a more V-shaped upper body.
What Muscles Do Pull-Ups Target?
Pull-ups are a great exercise because they target so many upper-body muscles. It’s quite easy to change up your pull-ups so that they’ll give you different benefits. For example, doing pull-ups with a narrow arms position will work your biceps and outer lats.
Bring your hands to a wider position on the pull-up bar and you’re targeting the back muscles, the inner lats, and the traps. Whether you want to increase your back strength or isolate muscle groups in your arms, it’s easy to find a pull-up modification that can help you do just that.
How To Create A Pull-Ups Training Schedule
When it comes to calisthenics exercises, the routine is everything. By having a training schedule that you stick to, results will come easily, if not effortlessly. The first thing that you need to do is to choose the right time to do your pull-ups. Some people like to do them as soon as they wake up in the morning, others like to wait for their morning break, or when they come back from work.
This is all fine, but as with any exercise, avoid practicing pull-ups straight before bed as this could prevent you from getting proper sleep. Once you have decided on a time when you’ll be doing pull-ups each day, keep yourself accountable. Set reminders on your phone or set the alarm. In the first few days, it can be helpful to get something that will keep your motivation going.
For example, allow yourself a nice healthy treat after each pulls up session, or let yourself watch an episode from your favorite show. At this point, you’re trying to build up the routine that is necessary to train pull-ups every day.
Next, you’ll want to get a training program that’ll help you see results. This will look vastly different depending on the person. If you’re not able to do pull-ups yet, your training program will look like a lot of dead hangs, with a couple of assisted pull-ups. If you’re more advanced, you may include different pull-ups variations, including pull-downs, wide grip pull-ups, and even weighted pull-ups.
The best way to get that training program is to consult with a personal trainer, but you could also make one yourself. Your goal is to create a program that motivates you, but remains achievable and won’t risk overtraining your muscles. Remember: improvement will come; naturally, you don’t need to force on your muscles too much.
What Kind Of Pull Ups Should You Be Doing?
Pull-ups sounds like a simple exercise, but this is a term that hides a lot of different exercises. When training your pull-ups every day, it’s a great idea to switch things up a bit by trying out different modifications. Here are a couple of the most popular ones:
The Standard Pull Up:
With this one, you’ll be hanging from the bar, your arms shoulder-length apart. Your palms should be facing away from you. Contract through your whole body, and pull yourself up until your chin passes the bar. Then, simply let yourself down gently.
A chin-up looks a lot like a pull-up. The only real difference is that you’ll do it with your palms facing the other way: toward your face. This is a good variation to include in your training routine as it targets your biceps more.
One Arm Pull Up
The one arm pull up is obviously a very advanced move. To perform it, you’ll need to have some serious strength in both your arms. Simply try to perform a regular pull up, but with your other arm behind your back. This one is actually one of the hardest calisthenics moves to master—so definitely take your time with it, and don’t attempt it as a beginner
Close Grip Pull Up
A close grip pull-up is a good variation to add in to work your biceps, arms and chest harder. Place your hands on the bar with a slightly narrower grip than your shoulder length.
Wide Grip Pull Up
A wide grip pull-up is also a great exercise to practice, though it can be quite a bit harder than a classic one. This exercise places emphasis on your back muscles and on your lats, muscles that you don’t tend to work quite as much. As a result, you may find that you can do a lot fewer wide-grip pull-ups as opposed to classic ones. Don’t worry about it; it’s something everyone experiences! Simply take your time with them, and remember to engage your back muscles properly for maximum results.
Weighted Pull Up
A weighted pull up makes your regular pull up just a bit harder by adding extra weight. You could be carrying a weighted backpack on your shoulders, or holding a barbell in between your legs. This is a great variation to do if you’re trying to squeeze more exercise in but don’t have much time, or if you’re trying to find pull-ups are getting easier for you to do. As ever, be patient and don’t try to add too much weight on straight away: that could result in overtraining your muscles.
All those pull-ups are great to practice in combination with one another. As a general rule, every pull-up session that you do daily should include at least one regular pull up, one wide grip one, and one narrow grip one. Feel free to use a variation of these different ideas to switch things up—and to use the pull up move to its greatest potential.
What Equipment Do You Need To Do Pull-Ups?
Pull-ups are a great exercise you can do at home because they only require a pull-up bar. You could either get a pull-up bar to fix on a door, get a special pull up the benchmark, or use one at the gym. When it comes down to it, pull-ups can be practiced almost everywhere, and you can find a stable, horizontal bar that can hold your weight! Calisthenics enthusiasts like to practice them in public parks, using kid’s games, special fitness equipment, or even the branch of a tree.
If you’re first starting to practice pull-ups, then you’ll need a couple more pieces of equipment. Ideally, you’ll want to get a pull-up resistance band or a set of different bands with several degrees of resistance. Those will help you to get to your first pull up with proper form, and encourage a natural, steady progression.
What Are The Risks Of Doing Pull-Ups Wrong?
You’ve heard all about the benefits of doing pull-ups, but what are the dangers? Well, to start with, you’re very likely to be doing pull-ups wrong. One of the most common mistakes is not doing full pull-ups but stopping halfway through.
With a proper pull-up, you should wait until your chin passes the pull-up bar before letting yourself down again. If you don’t make the full motion, you risk not developing your muscles to the full extent—and thinking that you’re better at them than you are!
Another common problem is not to engage your muscles properly. If you don’t engage the shoulders and the back, then you’ll end up putting too much strain on your joints and other arm muscles, which isn’t healthy. As a result, you might get more sore muscles and get a sore back from doing pull-ups when the effects should be just the opposite!
Although it’s easy to do pull-ups wrong, you should be able to correct your form easily. It can be good to have someone take a video of you so you can check whether you have proper form or train with a trainer for a bit.
Pull-ups are one of the most popular calisthenics exercises out there, though they are far from being the easiest ones! This means that while doing them every day can prove very beneficial, there are also a few risks associated with it. Doing pull-ups every day is possible, yes, but do be informed on proper technique, and most importantly, don’t push your body too hard at the start.
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