Are you looking to develop a strong and well-defined V-shaped back? This beginner calisthenics pull workout will help you do just that. The main focus of this workout is your biceps and upper back muscles using relatively easy but effective exercises.
You can start working out right away without the need for expensive gym membership or fancy equipment. All you need is a tree branch and resistance band and you are ready to go.
Beginner Calisthenics Pull Workout
Now, let’s get down to business! This beginner calisthenics workout has six exercises that will work your upper back and biceps muscles. It starts with a warm-up and ends with a cool-down stretching routine. Everything is laid out here. You just have to go out and do it.
To prepare your body for the main part of a workout do a quick 5-10 minutes warm up. You can go with something simple like jogging or skipping rope. But if you want, you can use a total body, or specifically targeted warm-up routine for the parts of your body you will target with the main workout.
Band Assisted Pull-Up
When you still can’t do a regular pull-up, you can use a resistance band to reduce the load at the lower part of the pull-up movement. As your chest approaches the pull-up bar the resistance the band provides will lower. So, in the uppermost part of the pulling motion, you will feel more and more of your weight being pulled up.
You can do this exercise on a pull-up bar or a tree branch.
Wrap your band around the pull-up bar. Grab a bar with your hands facing away from you and a bit wider than shoulder width. A band should be wrapped somewhere in the middle of your grip. Place one or both of your feet inside the band loop.
Pull your body up by bending your elbows aiming to touch the bar with your chest. When your chin reaches over the bar you reached the highest part of the movement.
Slowly lower yourself down by extending your arms. This should be done with control. Try to reduce swinging as much as possible by engaging your core.
Do 5-8 reps in 3 sets.
Band Assisted Chin Up
Another great beginner-friendly exercise is the band-assisted chin-up. This movement will help you target the biceps more than band-assisted pull-ups. It will require the same set of equipment as band-assisted pull-ups.
Secure your band around the bar. Grab the bar with your palms facing toward you.
Pull yourself up until your chin is over the bar. Keep your toes pointed and your core muscles engaged to reduce swinging.
Lower down in a slow and controlled motion.
Repeat for 3 sets with 5-8 reps in a set.
After two dynamic exercises, it’s time for two static exercises. You will not move your body, but your muscles will work. It doesn’t make it less effective. Just the opposite. It may be exactly what is missing in your workouts. That kind of exercise is called isometric exercise.
You position yourself like you would when you are doing pull-ups. Grab a bar a bit wider than shoulder width with your palms facing away from you.
Point your toes down and hold this position. Hold as long as you can.
Aim to hold for 30 seconds for 3 sets.
Low Bar Hang
After holding on to a high bar, move to a low bar and repeat. This will help you increase the time under tension and help you load your muscles more. It should feel easier to do than dead hang from a high bar.
Grab a low bar with your hands a bit wider than shoulder width. Your heels should be planted onto the ground and your body from your toes to your head should be in a straight line.
Hold this position as long as you possibly can.
Hold for 3 sets with 30 seconds hold in each set.
Low Bar Pull-Up
Low bar pull-up is also known as inverted row or Australian pull-up. This is a great exercise that will help you build strength in your traps and biceps. When you master this move, band-assisted pull-ups, and pull-up negatives, you will be able to do a regular pull-up very fast.
Position yourself under the low bar the same way as in the previous exercise.
Pull yourself up toward the bar and aim to touch the bar with your chest. Try to keep your body straight the whole time.
Slowly lower down until your arms are completely straight.
Do this move for 5-8 reps in 3 sets.
Low Bar Chin-Up
Low bar chin-up is slightly different than the previous exercise. The only difference is in the grip. This will make this exercise work your biceps muscles more than low bar pull up.
Position yourself under the low bar this time with your hands gripping the bar at around shoulder width and your palms facing toward you. Everything else is the same as in the previous exercise.
Pull up until your chest touches the bar.
Lower back down by straightening your arms.
Repeat for 5-8 reps in 3 sets.
Cool down – stretching
To wrap up the workout do a short 5-15 min cool down stretching routine. This will help you reduce the heart rate and elongate your pumped muscles.
Your muscles will shorten when exposed to strength training and you need to stretch to help them return to their previous state. This will also help increase muscle size.
It’s important to allow for a slow body recovery from a heightened working state to a more relaxed resting state. There are also other ways to help you recover after a workout, like taking a cold shower.
Beginner calisthenics pull workout progression
Keep track of your progress. Note down the number of sets, reps, and duration of exercises. To progress, increase the number of reps and duration of holds.
If you are able to do 3 sets with 5 reps in the first training session, try to do 6 reps in the first set in your next workout. Do 5 reps on the second and third sets as in the first workout. When you can do 3 sets with 10 or more reps in a set it’s time to move on to a harder skill in a progression.
If you were able to do 3 sets with 30 seconds hold in each set on your first workout, try to do 33 seconds hold the next time around. So, in each consecutive workout session try to add additional 3 seconds to your holds. When you are able to do a 60-second hold, you are ready to try harder exercises.
For a selection of exercises and ideas on how to progress check out the muscle up progression. In this progression, you will easily find harder exercises that will keep you busy for quite a while.
Why would you want to build a V-shaped back?
When we start working out it may be for different reasons. It may be because you want to improve your health, build muscle or lose fat. Otherwise, you can do it to look better or be stronger.
Regardless of the reason you are working out, building a V-shaped back will help you do it all. It will help you become stronger, look better, build muscle, lose fat, and improve your overall health.
This workout will help you target your upper back and biceps muscles. Your upper back muscles specifically will help your upper back look wider and thicker. This will make your waist look slimmer and your back and shoulders look wider. So, your upper body will be perceived as stronger and more attractive.
Working on your upper back will help you balance out your front delts and chest muscles. This will help you improve your posture and overall muscular balance.
Required equipment for a beginner calisthenics pull workout
Calisthenics is great for the reason you don’t need access to special gym equipment and very minimal equipment requirements. This beginner calisthenics pull workout is no exception. As already mentioned, a tree branch and resistance band are all you need.
Ideally, you will have access to a pull-up bar from which you can hang freely with your feet not touching the ground. This will give you enough room below the bar for the perfect execution of high-bar moves in this workout.
You will also need a lower bar you can hang from. Alternatively, this can be a low branch or a tabletop.
There is only one more piece of equipment you need for this workout. It’s a resistance band.
But what kind of a resistance band? There is so much to choose from.
There is a type of resistance band called a pull-up assist resistance band. This is what you need. But there is also a selection of resistance from the easiest to the hardest. If you buy a set of resistance bands, you can test which of the bands is the most appropriate to use. If you are buying just one, try to get one that is right in the middle.
When you get stronger you will need less assistance, so you can use lighter resistance bands, or stop using resistance bands and do pull-ups and chin-ups without the use of bands.
Beginner Calisthenics Pull Workout: Conclusion
You’ve learned about the importance of a V-shaped back and how calisthenics can help you achieve it. With this beginner calisthenics pull workout you have a solid foundation to unleash your hidden strength.
Remember, consistency is key. Stay committed to your workouts and gradually progress as your strength improves. With time, dedication, and proper form, you’ll be well on your way. In time you will develop a V-shaped back that turns heads and shows your hard work.
So, go and find something to hang from, and let’s get started on sculpting that V-shaped back. You’ve got this!