This exercise provided courtesy of Billy Polson, founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body, which was voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006.
People who are concerned that they lack the upper body strength often avoid this exercise at the gym, but there’s no need. You can start out by using the Gravitron machine, which puts the pull-up in range for anyone interested in developing a strong back and defined lats.
Position yourself facing the machine. Hold the set of handles parallel to your body. Grip the bars with your thumbs around the bars and your palms facing in towards each other (see Photo 1).
- Pull yourself vertically upward while keeping your elbows close to your ribs, retracting your shoulder blades and opening your chest. Your shoulders should stay down, your neck and head in line with your spine and your entire lower body (hips, knees, ankles) should remain completely stable and still throughout the motion to ensure that you isolate your back muscles.At the top of your motion, your head should be above your hands as if you are trying to touch your chest to your hands.
- Lower yourself slowly to your starting position while keeping the movement in the muscle.