The Basics

It might sound cliché, but you first must learn how to crawl before you can run. The Pull Up Mate is much the same. You might see people doing some intricate, high-degree exercises on it, but they didn’t just jump up there and start cranking out reps from the get-go. They first started with the basics. And that’s exactly what you should do.


So you’re just starting out. You’ve got your Pull Up Mate, and you want to get started, but after trying to do one pull up, you’re starting to reconsider the whole ‘get in shape’ thing.

I’m not going to mince my words here – pull ups are tough.

Chin ups are tough.

Leg raises are tough.

And, you guessed it, dips are tough.

It’s going to take a real concerted effort for you to get to the point where you can put together a routine involving these workouts. But when you get there, you’ll be pretty proud of yourself I can tell you.

So what we need to focus on first is the basics- the fundamental exercises that will help you build the strength you need in the beginning. Then, when you’re able to do a few sets of these, you can start mixing things up.


  Pull-ups

Evidenced by the name Pull Up Mate, pull-ups are staple exercises performed on the tool. They work a significant amount of the upper body, including the back, biceps, shoulders, abs and even chest.

In order to do these, adjust the Pull Up with the crossbar in a high position. Reach up and grab the bar with an overhand, slightly wider than shoulder-width grip. If it is more comfortable, tuck your thumbs in by your fingers. But you will feel more secure if you wrap them around the bar.

Assume a dead hang position with your feet extended out in front of your body slightly. Pull your shoulder blades down and inward, move your hips forward slightly and tighten your abs.

Keep your abs engaged as you pull yourself up toward the bar. Stop when your chin clears it and hold for a split second. Slowly lower yourself down until your arms are fully extended and repeat.

If you are tall, you might have to bend your knees slightly when you start and come down between each rep. You do not want your feet to touch the ground. Just make the modification if need be.

And just for the record, you can turn this exercise into a chin-up by simply turning your palms, so they face your body. This variation will place more emphasis on your biceps.


  Push-ups

A push-up is a really good compliment to a pull-up because it is the opposite motion. It’s always good to do opposing drills because it prevents muscle imbalances and creates symmetry. The main muscles targeted are the pecs, shoulders, triceps and abs once again.

You can get away with doing push-ups on the ground. But you can also get fancy with the aid of the Pull Up Mate. In this case, you want to adjust the crossbar, so it is about hip high.

Carefully prop your feet up on the bar as you place your hands about shoulder-width apart on the ground. Create a straight line from the back of your head to your heels and tighten your abs.

Maintain this posture as you bend your elbows and lower yourself down. When your chest is right above the ground, pause for a second and push yourself back up. Stop when your arms are fully extended and repeat.

This is more formally known as a decline push-up. For an easier variation, you can do incline push-ups, which are performed by simply putting your hands on the crossbar and placing your feet on the ground.


  Dips

Dips target the triceps on the back of the upper arms and the chest. You have the option of doing these with the Pull Up Mate in a couple different positions. But for the most basic way, adjust it to a position where you have two parallel bars.

Hop up and grasp the bars, fully extend your arms and bend your knees slightly so your feet point toward the back of your body. Keep your abs nice and tight and bend your elbows to lower yourself down.

Once your upper arms are about parallel to the ground and elbows are bent 90 degrees, push yourself all the way back up and repeat.

While doing dips, do not let your elbows flare out sideways as this can cause excess stress on your shoulders.


Conclusion

If you did nothing but these few drills, you can build a solid, defined upper body. Make sure to always focus on your form and everything will fall right into place nicely.