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Pull-Up Bar Exercises

A pullup bar, whether it's found in your favorite gym or installed in a doorway of your home, can add a whole new regimen to your regular workout routine. Several exercises, all aimed at improving your upper body strength and physique, are impossible without a pullup bar. Implement these pullup bar exercises and they can help you achieve harder pecs, bulging biceps and washboard abs.

Pullups are one of the most basic exercises that you can do on a pullup bar. Grasp the bar with your palms facing away from your body and slightly wider than your shoulders. Pull yourself up so that your chin clears the bar, then lower yourself slowly until your arms are straight again. You can narrow your grip to put more of an emphasis on your arms and core, or widen your grip to focus the work on your upper back. Aim to do two sets of five to 12 pullups.

Combining knee raises and a pullup creates a combination exercise for hard abs, strong biceps and powerful lats. Get into the regular pullup position and pull your body up until your chin clears the bar. Then, squeeze your abs and bring your knees up toward your chest. Lower your knees, then lower your body back down to the starting position. Repeat, doing three sets of five to 10 reps. As an alternate exercise to work only your core, you can hang from the bar and raise your knees up toward your chest without doing a pullup first.

Jumping pull-ups are one of the best ways to get a strong, "beautiful back," states "Shape" magazine. Grab the pull-up bar just as you would for a regular pull-up. Jump up while pulling yourself up with your arms and bring your chin higher than the bar, then lower yourself down slowly. Attempt to do three sets of 25 reps.

To target your biceps, perform chin-ups as well as pullups. Grasp the pullup bar with your palms facing you and your hands no wider than shoulder-width. Bend your elbows and pull yourself up until your chin reaches the bar. Straighten your arms and repeat. Aim for two sets of five to 10 chin-ups.

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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.