Hammer Grip Pull Ups are a pull up variation that activate the shoulder muscles and bicep muscles.
In videos and movies, the technique looks like the easiest pull-up variation ever but to be honest no pull-up variation is easy, it tests your upper body strength and endurance.
It is similar to neutral grip pull-ups as both almost work on the same muscles.
For big guns work out, this workout helps you strengthen and develop your upper body muscles effectively
HOW TO DO HAMMER GRIP PULL UPS PROPERLY
They say you will never know until you try. If you feel you are ready to test your upper body muscles, try the workout and gauge your strength and endurance.
For any assistance or injuries, inform your trainer/gym instructor.
- Grab the parallel pull up bar and hang freely with your arms extended. This is your starting position.
- Brace your core, exhale and pull yourself up by squeezing your latissimus dorsi muscles and contracting your shoulder and arms muscles. Keep your elbows by your side as you go up.
- Bring your shoulders up until they are almost touching the bar. Inhale and hold this position for a second or so, then return to your starting position.
- Maintain a straight back while doing the workout.
- Do 3 sets of 8-10 reps.
WHAT MUSCLES DO HAMMER GRIP PULL UPS WORK
Squeezing of the Lats muscle helps to set the shoulders while pulling up your body. The muscles helps the shoulder joint when arms extend and rotate internally.
While pulling your body up, the latissimus dorsi function as back stabilizer and help pull the trunk forward.
The muscle functions as the flexion and outward rotation (supination) of the forearm. The biceps supports the humeral head within the shoulder joint while doing the workout.
The movement of the exercise engages the biceps and facilitates muscle activation, which leads to muscle build up and strengthening.
As much as the biceps are engaged in this workout, the forearm flexors share in the pull up motion as the muscles help stabilize and strengthen the grip on the pull up bar.
One of the forearm muscles, brachioradialis, run from the elbow joint to the wrist and help to flex the elbow when pulling up.
This shoulder muscles especially the posterior muscles help in extension and external rotation of the arm. The muscle helps to protect the shoulder joint as you pull your body up on the bar.
HAMMER GRIP PULL UPS BENEFITS
UPPER BODY DEVELOPMENT AND STRENGTHENING
Being a compound exercise, multiple upper body muscles activate and develop every time you do a pull up. This strengthens your upper body muscles and facilitates development and build up.
For aesthetic purposes, Hammer Grip Pull Ups are the top most go to workouts for toned and defined upper body muscles.
GOOD GRIP STRENGTH
Have you ever shook hands with someone who lives and breathes workout? You will think they are jokingly crushing your hand but that is just how their grip is, strong and firm.
Hammer Grip Pull Ups strengthens the grip because your whole body weight and motion is dependent on holding on to the bar.
Since pull-ups target the back muscles, this exercise helps to reinforce posture and strengthen your back. The workout prompts you to keep a straight back thus reinforcing posture.
ALTERNATIVES TO HAMMER GRIP PULL UPS
WIDE GRIP PULLDOWN BEHIND THE NECK
Just from the name, you already have a clue as to what to expect from the workout. You will require a weight machine to do the exercise.
How to do it:
- Start by setting weights that best fit your muscle strength and endurance.
- Sit on the weight machine bench and hold the pulldown bar with a wide grip.
- Keep your back straight and core tightened. This is your starting position.
- Using your Lats and arms muscles, inhale and slowly pull down the bar behind your back. Hold this position for a count and exhale as you return to your starting position.
- Maintain a smooth motion so that you may keep a good breathing pattern with each movement.
- Do 3 sets of 8-10 reps.
As an isometric workout, planks helps to strengthen the torso (abdominal muscles). It is definitely not an easy workout especially if one decides to spice it up with weights. Benefits of planks are prominent and it only takes a minute to feel its effect.
Developing a strong core helps you have a protective barrier for the internal organs and from any injuries that may have otherwise severely harmed you if your abdominal muscles were not developed and strong.
How to do it:
- Kneel down on the floor and rest both elbows on the floor directly underneath your shoulders.
- Walk your knees backwards, fully stretch your whole body and pick your knees off the floor as you balance on your toes.
- Align your while body to be in a straight line as you tighten your core and contract your shoulder muscles.
- Breathe normally as you keep your neck in a neutral position and glutes pressed together.
- Hold the position for a minute then release the position by going back to kneeling.
- Do reps and sets you desire, until you feel you have exhausted your muscles well.
HAMMER GRIP PULL UPS MISTAKES TO AVOID
FLARING THE ELBOWS OUTWARDS
It may not be easy to go so low and come back up with elbows at your sides. You may feel like muscle strength is out even before you are high enough and that may prompt you to flare your elbows out to force the pull. This diverts the focus from the primary muscles and you will see that you are using more of your forearm and elbows to pull up.
Keeping your elbows at your sides, helps focus on the back muscles and upper arms muscles.
NOT EXTENDING LOW ENOUGH
Going low until your body is freely hanging guarantees more muscle engagement when pulling up because the upper body muscles work full time to lift your weight and cancel out any body swinging.
Fast movements are like a cheat sheet for pull-ups. Moving in a slow and controlled motion allows muscles to be engaged in every movement and at the same time activate. Slow movements contract your muscles effectively and you will feel every muscle work.
Hammer Grip Pull Ups are a great pull-up variation that contributes greatly to upper body strength and development.
If you feel like you can spice it up more, you can add weights. This just explodes your muscles with engagement and activation, which guarantees genuine functional strength development.