One of the greatest exercises to test upper body strength is by pulling yourself up on a bar and performing multiple reps of your body weight. However this exercise is something that is neglected in a lot of people's routines because it is either too hard or it just isn't recognised as important enough. So this is for all of you who struggle to do a pull up and want to increase the width of your back, overall strength and look more aesthetic.
So we know you can't quite manage a pull up at this moment in time and this is completely fine. One way of working towards your goal and being able to complete a pull up is by starting off with Dead Hangs. This exercise really helps build grip strength and will utilise the muscles you need to build in order to complete a pull up. The exercise is called a dead hang because you simply hang in a wide grip, overhand position for around 30 seconds to 1 minute. Just hanging here in this position for a length of time over a few sets will start to build up the latissimus dorsi muscles which are targeted during this move. These fan like muscles are needed for development so that you can do a wide grip pull up.
If you find it easy holding on then why not add in some pulses to the move which will generate more contractions of the back muscles and in particular your lats. The forearms will be worked harder too as you are increasing the load by pulling yourself up slightly. Pulsing whilst in a dead hang position means you will lift yourself approximately 10% which again will prep you for performing a full pull up.
You might find these two moves thus far are too easy and you need to progress further. If this is the case the final aspect of changing things up is by increasing the weight you are hanging with. This will really work on muscle development and building strength for when you come to do a pull up. Hanging or pulsing with a 20kg plate will seriously increase strength over the course of 2-3 weeks of doing it and when it comes to performing a true pull up you should be able to do it.
Be sure to include these techniques to increase overall width of your back and strength. Remember, in my opinion performing a wide grip pull up shows true strength and is a great exercise for fat burn too. The exercise uses a lot of muscles which will help increase fat burn. So as you can see the overall benefits of starting to do a wide grip pull up are amazing and if you aren't doing one already, it is time to start!
Don't forget to repair properly using a whey protein shake which will rebuild your muscles that you have worked. Using a whey protein won't give you huge muscles but it will help them grow back stronger and more defined!