ABC News(NEW YORK) — For 2019, ABC News’ Good Morning America meteorologist Ginger Zee, a mother of two and avid exerciser, set a new wellness goal: to be able to do eight pull-ups and 30 push-ups in great form.
Zee started off the year able to do three pull-ups and turned to her friend and personal trainer Mark Langowski to help reach her goal in 30 days.
“Pull-ups are one of the most challenging things that a person can do with fitness,” Langowski told GMA. “It’s not just your arms. You’re using your abs. You’re using your upper back. You’re using everything so you’re burning the most amount of calories in a very short period of time, and that’s why it’s a very effective exercise.”
To achieve the best results, it’s important to have proper form. Here are Langowski’s top tips on how to pull off the perfect pull-up and how to up your reps at the same time:
1. Pull-up vs. Chin-up
First, you should note whether you’re doing a pull-up or a chin-up.
“Essentially, [with a chin-up,] you’re just trying to get your chin up over the bar with your palms facing you,” he explained.
“Whereas with a traditional pull-up,” he said, “you still pull your chin up over the bar, [but] your hand placement is wider and palms are facing away from the face.”
2. Form is key
Whether you’re doing a pull-up or chin-up, the correct form is key to achieve the best results.
“The right form is going to be controlling it on the way up and the way down, so you’re not swinging,” Langowski explained. “The perfect pull-up is starting in a dead-hang position and then pulling your body all the way up and then releasing down.”
3. Practice makes perfect
One way to improve over time is to use an elastic workout band that provides support to help you do more reps.
Over time, Langowski says you will get stronger and able to do more pull-ups without assistance. If you practice consistently, you should be able to do one more pull-up each week without using the band.
Pro Tip: To make a pull-up more challenging, place your arms farther apart.
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