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General Pull UP

General Pull UP is a classic bodybuilding exercise. It is a complete exercise for the arms and back. Successful pulling is mandatory for competitions in army, gendarmerie, fire, and police competitions. However, the exercise of traction can be very difficult, even eliminatory, because it is a question of moving its own weight. Overweight candidates will have more difficulty than others. It will be necessary, in this case, to couple a hypocaloric diet to a muscular reinforcement to hope to succeed. A loss of 10% fat will double its pulling capacity at the helm.

The apprenticeship program proposed here can be followed at home if a drawbar can be installed. Several landscaping solutions are imaginable. This training plan makes it possible to achieve traction to strengthen the upper body, especially the back, in the upper back and around muscles, and the arms in the biceps and anterior brachial muscles. The lower portion of the trapezium, the rhomboid in traction-nape wide grips, and the pecs with supine grips are also stressed during traction. The rhomboid will be particularly stressed if one thinks to tighten the shoulder blades in the second part of the movement when the elbows pass under the horizontal line of the shoulders.

How To Make General Pull UP

In bodybuilding, you can do General Pull UP with a grip of the bar in pronation (above your hand in front of you), in supination (palms of your hands facing you), or in a neutral grip (palms of your hands face to face).

All these grips muscle the biceps and the back but in different ways.

General Pull UP with an overhand grip, further develop the back width.

General Pull UP with supine and a neutral grip, further develop the thickness of the back.

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The tighter your grip is, the more you flex your biceps and the more you spread your hands, and the more you muscle your back.

General Pull UP with a supine grip, limits the spread of the hands and generally allows to lift more load because the biceps are more put in contribution than a grip in pronation.

For example, if you can do 10 supine pulls, you may only be able to do 6 in pronation.

General Pull UP is a relatively safe weight training exercise, but to avoid injuries due to repetition of the same movement, I recommend that you change your grip regularly.

By changing your grips, you will also develop the strength and volume of your back and biceps more effectively.

It is not necessary to have a very wide grip on the bar, to make your General Pull UP.

A catch one more spread than the width of the shoulders is sufficient.

By taking a wider view, you risk traumatizing your shoulders.

Targeted Muscles

At the level of the scapulohumeral muscles are the major dorsal and the eternal portion of the pectoralis majors. At the level of the scapular girdle, the small pectoral muscle and the rhomboid are solicited. At the elbow joint, the bronchial biceps, long supinator, and anterior brachii are solicited.

Safety Instructions

Keep a slow speed of execution, it’s not a marathon! To avoid swinging during movement, contract the abdominals and glutes. Do not fall suddenly into the return phase, keep your elbows slightly bent to preserve your joints and tendons.
To work well on the back rather than on the biceps, pull out your chest a little before arching your lower back slightly, and start the movement by pulling your elbows down as if your hands were hooks. In the high position, contract the dorsal and return slowly to the initial position without completely stretching the arms.
If you are using a pull bar or a bar rest, make sure that the whole thing is solid because if you fall it is the knees that will take.
Tractions carried by bringing the bar behind the neck place the shoulder joint in a harmful position, it is better to do them in front.

Coach Tips

To increase the resistance (which is not necessary in most cases if all the plugs are used), you can add a load to the feet or to the waist.

If you are unable to move in full amplitude, do it in reduced amplitude but slow down. You can also work this part (eccentric) of the movement by starting support and breaking the descent. You will need a partner to remove and replace the support. You can also hold certain intermediate positions for 4 to 5 seconds or obviously use the combination of these two techniques. If you really can not pull, you can start with pulley pulling exercises. On this subject, you can read this article with other tips for push-ups.

(I see you as a person with an interest in bodybuilding! )
So I advise you of these products that you will need in this sport:


Exhale while climbing the body.

Inhale during the descent and in the down position.

Because of the difficulty of the traction, it is often bettered to hold your breath: inhale in the starting position and exhale after the effort in the high position.


By varying the grip of the hands, one can wear the effort on different parts of the back. The wide grip will especially solicit the big dorsal and tight grip, the small round, the big round, and of course the biceps. It is possible to do the exercise with one arm but you have to be very strong!

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