Pullups and Dips To Build The Upper Body

[ 0 ] January 16, 2016 |

Shoulders and triceps are two very critical upper body parts when one speaks of fitness training. If one desires to achieve the beach body status, it is imperative to concentrate on building these two groups. Although the shoulders are more complex than the triceps, one does not have to go to drastic measures to build them. Often times you may see insanely big guys come through the gym with huge shoulders and triceps and you wonder how they got that way. While that looks impressive, it is a good chance that those very same guys have a difficult with flexibility. Don’t act as though you don’t know what I’m talking about! Everyone who belongs to a gym has seen the guy who looks like his arms are permanently bent but his muscles are so tight that he wouldn’t be able to throw a grape if a fruit fight was started.

Those big muscles look good but there are other ways to build strength in the shoulders, triceps and back while still keeping your flexibility. As I have stated in my prior posts, weightlifting can be a great thing for those that lift in moderation or lift under the supervision of an expert trainer. The purpose of this article is to bring awareness to the wonderful benefits that pull-ups and dips can provide for your body. They are known to build strength, muscle and cut to the shoulders, back, chest and triceps. These exercises may also have the worst reputations for body weight workouts. They are despised because of the degree of difficulty one must endure in order to do them successfully and correctly. The mastery of one’s own body weight has been a challenge for mankind since the beginning of time. It is also considered boring and cumbersome.

Pull-ups require that you hang from a bar with your hands and pull yourself up over the bar until your chin surpasses or reaches equal height of the bar. Triceps dips on the other hand, require you to hold onto two separate grips and push your entire body weight up and down by engaging your triceps and chest muscles. Pull-ups when done correctly, will build what I like to call the king cobra back. When you look at the head and back of a cobra snake you will notice that these two areas extend out horizontally from the snake’s body more than the other body parts.

If you look from the top of the cobra snake’s head to the bottom of the body you will see that it forms the shape of the letter Y. The more pull-ups you perform, the bigger your trapezius muscles become. Your latissimus dorsi muscles also start to become very ripped which ultimately helps the upper body start to form the shape of the letter Y. The best way to think about it is to hang from the pull-up bar and look at yourself in a mirror. You will see that your body forms the “Y shape” as you are hanging from the bar.

This also means that your waistline will get smaller because you are recruiting abdominal and oblique muscles to help raise your body during the exercise. To get varying results or work on different body parts you can also change your grip on the bar. If you widen your grip, you will be building for width and you will gain what is called wings. Wings is body building term that well developed latissimus dorsi muscles. If you decide to do your pull-ups underhanded then you will work more biceps, forearms and back. Most people agree that doing pull-ups overhand has a higher degree of difficulty than doing them underhand. You can start building your back muscles right away by first giving yourself a test and seeing how many pull-ups you are able to do. You are not allowed to jerk your body in order to get over the bar.

pullups-dips-leehaywardMany people mistake activity for achievement by kicking their feet and hollering on the pull-up bar to make it seem as though they are working hard. When performing this exercise you are to be under control and make sure that your chin surpasses the bar. The repetitions are not as important as the way you perform the exercise. The goal is to have perfection execution. If you can only do two reps then be sure to take your time and do them correctly. It is best to just allow your legs to hang straight down below you. You do not have to tuck you feet behind you. Perform this exercise for three sets of whatever number you can do for two to three times per week. It is up to you to raise the amount of reps that you do as you get stronger. If you cannot raise the reps then you should raise the amount of sets that you do. Either way you will continue to build strength.

When performing dips you will want to remember that your balance is essential to the proper execution of the exercise. If you are leaning forward it will make the exercise much more difficult. Leaning forward means more pressure will be placed on the shoulders and less on the triceps and chest as it is intended to do. Unlike the pull up exercise, you will want to cross you feet and let them hang slightly behind you. Dips are a great replacement for those who work the triceps using exercises such as skull crushers, tricep pull downs and behind the neck tricep extensions. Building strength with the dip bar seems ideal as compared to the aforementioned exercises.

As opposed to doing exercises with 60, 70 or 80 pound dumbbells you are now responsible for pushing around your own body weightblack man which in most cases is more than 100 pounds. For those of you who want to increase your one rep maximum on the bench press exercise, doing dips daily is the way to go. Your stomach muscles will also get a good workout because you have to keep your core tight in order to balance. As with the pull ups, you will want to begin with a low amount of reps like five. Perform this exercise for 4 sets. If you feel that five is too low then you may increase the amount ONLY if you have correct form. You can do dips four to five times per week.

Building strength and muscle is the same as with anything in life. You grow from failing. The more times you can do the exercise to failure, the faster you will be able to get stronger and get the look that you want. In this case failing would mean performing as many repetitions as you can and not being able to continue on to do more. Because your body is a perfect functioning unit, it will find a way to surpass the amount of reps that you could not do before. The body only knows how to succeed and it does not like not being able to do something. As you fail it will stretch and go out and recruit new muscle fibers in order that it can complete the task of doing more reps. If you should doubt this theory just look at anyone who was once skinny after they have joined a gym and gotten on a serious strength training regimen. You will find that many times their chest and shoulders have stretch marks. It means that they now have bigger muscles than what they had before so the skin had to be stretched to make room for more muscle that was being recruited to lift more weight.

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Category: Exercise

About the Author ()

Cochise Tarak-Saa is a health advocate who has authored various forms of health and wellness content specializing in the physical (exercise), physiological (nutrition) and the social (personal development) areas of well-being.