The US Marines are the most hardcore fighting machine on the planet and they turn boys into men in 13 short weeks. Marines are tough and need plenty of upper body strength to carry around equipment and to climb heavy terrain. You can use pull ups in many variations for great muscle building workouts at home or in the gym. I started doing pull ups when I was 10 years old so by the time I graduated high school I could do 31 dead hang pull ups. This gave me quite the edge when I went to Marine Corps boot camp in Paris Island a couple years later.
Pull ups will build your upper back giving you the awesome sought after V taper that bodybuilders, mixed martial artists, and wrestlers have. The other great side effect from this exercise is that they will build your biceps.
If you want wide lats or are about to go to boot camp to join the Marines you need to start doing this muscle building exercises at least every other day to start strengthening your back and biceps.
Marine pull ups are done a little differently though as they allow you to use a little bit of a swing called a “kip” to help pull yourself up. I really never knew why they allowed this though because it is cheating.
If you want to really build your upper back do them with strict form and only use the swing at the end to help you get a couple of extra reps. If you can do 20 dead hangs you can easily do 40 to 50 pull ups with the kip. When I graduated from boot camp using this technique I did 58 and so can you if you put the effort in.
Get a chin up bar to put in your door at home if you don’t belong to a gym. Pull ups are the best muscle building exercise to get big arms and to widen your back. The Marines already knew this though and that is why they use it as a foundation along with push ups to build the upper bodies of new recruits.
Another technique you can do to help strengthen your arms quicker is negatives. If you aren’t able to do anymore reps step up on a chair or jump up so your chin is at the bar and lower yourself down as slow as you can. Do this for a few reps to really burn out the biceps and back muscles. Typically the biceps are the weak link on this exercise and this will help you to push the back and biceps harder.