The V Bar pull up is a modified variation of the standard chin-up. It is a bodyweight workout that uses a v-bar handle attached on top of a straight bar.
This movement somehow mimics the hammer curls, therefore, the brachioradialis is worked more compared to other pull up variations.
The v bar pull up strengthens the upper back muscles, core, and biceps. It is a better shoulder-friendly substitute for straight bar pull ups.
Choose the number of sets and reps depending on your fitness level. For safety reasons, do not overestimate your ability when performing this workout or when loading weight.
Targeted Muscles: Lats
Secondary Muscles: Biceps, Mid-Back, Shoulders
Required Equipment: Pull up bar, V-bar
Exercise Type: Strength
Exercise Mechanics: Compound
Force Type: Pull
Difficulty Level; Beginner
- To perform the v bar pull up, you require a v bar and a pull up bar. Set the v bar at the top of the pull up bar and hold the bar with a bar using a neutral grip. Ensure your palms face each other.
- Lower your body such that you hang from the v bar. This is your starting position.
- To get into action, pull yourself up in a slow and controlled motion as far as you can. Tilt your head slightly so that you don’t hit the bar.
- Pause and hold the position for a second then gently lower yourself back to resume the starting position.
- Repeat the motion until you achieve the desired sets of reps.
- Perform every rep with a full range of motion.
- Do not work your way up by swinging your body, you will be cheating your way through.
- Don’t drop your body fast- be sure to control your body throughout the motion.
- To level up and add intensity to the workout, you can use weight.
- Keep your legs aligned to your body throughout the workout.
MUSCLES WORKED BY THE V BAR PULL UP
The v bar is an excellent method to train your abdominals and lats simultaneously.
The main muscles targeted by the v pull ups include the teres major, latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, and abdominals. Likewise, when the shoulder blades are contracted together at the top of the rep, the rhomboids and the traps are recruited. This contraction is essential for the entire back musculature to be trained effectively by this exercise. The more you lean your back to assume the v position, the more this workout mimics a rowing exercise -except you’ll be using your bodyweight only.
The rhomboids, posterior delts, and infraspinatus will also be worked with this exercise.
You can alternatively use a reverse grip. However, the reverse grip will shift most of the tension from the lats to the triceps, specifically the brachialis and the biceps brachii. See Reverse Chin-Up.
BENEFITS OF THE V BAR PULL UP
IMPROVE GRIP STRENGTH
The v bar pull up improves grip strength. Grip strength is essential for every weightlifting exercise as well as other sporting activities like bowling, tennis, golf, and rock climbing.
Having grip strength helps you execute normal daily tasks like shoveling and opening jars more easily.
IMPROVED FITNESS AND GENERAL BODY STRENGTH
Strength training drills are known for improving general body fitness. When executing the v bar pull up, you will be lifting your entire body weight with the movement. This is a surefire way to advance your body strength and improve your health.
It has been proven over time that strength training is essential for better cardiovascular health and enhancing bone development. For optimum results, perform the v bar pull up three to four times a week.
CHALLENGES YOUR MUSCLES
The v bar pull up is a complex strength training drill. Challenging your muscles with complex moves can greatly improve your general fitness. You can include this exercise in your routine and use it to gauge your strength.
Always include new challenging workouts in your routine. Remember repeating the same workouts over time can make your body begin to plateau.
ALTERNATIVES TO V BAR PULL UP
Train your strength using just your body weight and a bar.
- Reach up and hold the pull up bar at a shoulder-width using a supinated grip.
- Hang from the pull up bar with your arms fully extended. Brace your core and make sure you do not swing. Pull your lats and rhomboids down as well to engage them.
- Raise your body and contract your shoulder blades together. Move your elbows towards your hips and stop when they are aligned with your body.
- Pause and hold for a second at the top of the rep.
- Reverse the motion and slowly resume the starting position-control your motion at the lowering phase.
- The chin-up is a complex strength training. If you are struggling with this exercise, consider performing lighter strength training exercises.
MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN PERFORMING V BAR PULL UP
Being a complex strength training exercise, the v bar pull up leaves a lot of room for error. Executing the exercise with a sloppy two downsides:
You will be more prone to injury, and you’ll be selling yourself short!
NOT PERFORMING WITH A FULL RANGE OF MOTION
For you to gain the optimum results of this workout and train the targeted muscles effectively, stretch out your arms completely as you lower your body before pulling back up. Perform full-range v-ups for the win!
NOT ENGAGING YOUR SHOULDERS FULLY
Engaging your shoulders from the start of the rep is essential when performing the v bar pull up. When you engage them at a later stage, you will be leading the motion with other parts of your body- the tendons and joints, that aren’t accustomed to that type of strain.
Brace your shoulders and scapular from the beginning and throughout the exercise.
The v bar pull up is one of the most effective upper body strength workouts that you should consider including in your routine. This exercise offers many fitness and strength benefits.
Likewise, this exercise will improve your mobility for normal day-to-day activities and your physical aesthetic.
You can work for many different muscle groups simultaneously with one movement, which can be made harder or easier depending on your fitness goals.
Whether you are a beginner or a veteran, the v bar pull up is a workout you should consider including in your workout routine. Focus on perfecting your technique and advance as you get more fit. Remember to be consistent to gain the maximum benefits of this workout.
Give it a go!