I tipped you on how to begin pushing your body weight last time. Remember push, pull, rotation, squat and lunge? Now…what about pulling your own weight? That can be a little more challenging, for some. Just as some think of military style push-ups when thinking body weight push; many think of a pull-up or chin-up, when thinking body weight pulls.
That may be the end goal for some of us; to be able to do X number of chin-ups. However, as one may work up to body weight push-ups, one may also gradually work up to a body weight pull (chin-up). Anywhere you can find an upright pole (6’ tall wrought iron fencing is actually practically perfect) you can begin to build your pulling muscles. Holding the fence with a medium to wide armed position (or grab the singular pole with both hands, if that’s what you’ve got to work with), engage your core muscles and pull yourself toward the pole/fence. If you have a fence to work with, and you’re able to grasp wide, draw your shoulder blades toward your spine and downward, as you pull forward. Don’t just lean toward the fence, engage those muscles and pull…like you mean it. This engages primarily your biceps (upper arms) and trapezius (large muscle across the back that moves the shoulders), but also involves about 8 secondary muscles (brachioradialis, deltoid, teres major, rhomboid, rectus abdominis, obliques, pectoralis major and triceps…all very interesting, I know).
The thing to know is: pushing works the front of you. Pulling works the back. Pick up a piece of luggage, hold the ski line or swim; you’re pulling. It’s good for your back. Do it often. There are all sorts of ways to pull in various directions. There are dozens of exercises that can be done both in and out of the gym. The inverted row is my absolute favorite, but requires access to a Smithson Machine™(or the like) to really maximize the potential of the exercise. Once you discover the health benefits of pulling your weight, you’ll want to do it every day! So, yes! Push yourself! But, pull yourself, too! Pull your weight. If you can’t, who can?
Sally Windham is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor in Blanco, TX. Please send questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org