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The Ultimate Pullup

7210-train7If you want a wider back, this pullup variation will blow up your lats as no other exercise I’ve found. The secret lies in where you do the pullup.

I’m not very good at keeping secrets, though, so here it is: You do the pullups in the corner of the power rack.

To understand why they work so well, you first need to know how to do them. To perform corner -pullups, you’ll need a power rack—and that’s pretty much it.

Technically, you should also be able to do at least six to eight regular pullups in order to perform this exercise, but even if you can’t, you can very easily spot yourself so you can do these and get as much out of them as anybody else. So even if you can’t do full pullups right now, keep reading.

First, stand facing the corner of the rack. Reach up with your left hand and grip the top cross-bar with a palm-facing-away grip about 18 inches from the corner. That should be a false grip, with your thumb on the same side of the bar as your fingers, which helps to minimize elbow flexor, meaning biceps and brachialis, involvement.

Now reach up with your right hand and grip the side top beam at the same relative distance from the corner as your left hand. You want to be sure to keep your distance from the corner even on the each side. Definitely experiment with grip width to find the best match for your arm span on this exercise.

Now you’re ready to pull!

Bend your knees and get your feet off the ground. You’ll immediately notice the tension in your lats in that bottom position.

Pull yourself up as high as possible, and then lower yourself slowly and under complete control. The negative on this exercise is very intense, and the stretch it puts on your lats is phenomenal.

As you get toward the bottom, let your arms go completely straight to maximize the stretch on the lats. Be sure to keep tension in the shoulders, however. Even though your arms are straight, you want your body still to be supported by muscle tension in the lats and not the tendons and ligaments of your shoulder joints.

As this point you will feel a tremendous stretch in your lats. Now pull up again, remembering to push outward against the cross-beams as you pull up.

Keep going until you can’t do any more reps. It’s a tough exercise and an eye-opener even for people who can do a lot of pullups.

As I mentioned, if you can’t do pullups right now, you can set the safety rail on the rack a few feet up and spot yourself by standing on the rail.  Use your legs as much as you need to in order to perform the exercise.

This corner pullup is incredibly effective at targeting the outer fibers of the lats and developing insane back width.

—Nick Nilsson


Editor’s note: To get a copy of Nick’s Muscle Explosion—28 Days to Maximum Mass, visit his Web site, www.28DayMuscle


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