Even if you’re already an iron-pumping champ at the gym, your sweat sesh might be missing pulling exercises, which are super beneficial for toning your upper body. Just ask Victoria’s Secret model Josephine Skriver, who amps up her workout with one particularly tough move.
As shown via an Instagram post, Skriver recently worked her entire upper-body by doing weighted vertical rope pulls at The Dogpound in New York City—but that’s not the only method for reaping the benefits of pulling. Strength and conditioning expert Mark DiSalvo told Self all pulling exercises—which use the muscles on the back of your body to bring something toward your body—are incredibly good for you. The only problem? They aren’t practiced nearly enough.
While pushing exercises like push-ups and bench presses are super-popular, pulling exercises tend to get overlooked, but “you need to have pushing strength and pulling strength in order to have healthy posture and balance in your muscular strength,” DiSalvo says. And in order to gain that strength and avoid problems like back pain and poor posture, there are some moves you can do on the regular.
Horizonal pulling movements (like rowing, bar rows, and reverse push-ups) and vertical pulling movements (like pull-ups, chin-ups, and rope climbs) are beneficial on their own, but DiSalvo recommends making sure to keep your muscles working in both planes of motion. Unfortunately, unlike with pushing movements, these pulling exercises typically require some sort of equipment—but nothing that’s hard to find, like standard machines at the gym or dumbbells.
“You need to have pushing strength and pulling strength in order to have healthy posture and balance in your muscular strength.” —Mark DiSalvo, strength and conditioning expert
When your muscles start becoming more balanced after adding this mode of exercise into your workout sesh, you’ll feel the difference—both at the gym and throughout your daily routine.
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