First step? I bought this and I love it! The very first "as seen on TV" product I have ever purchased, although I do not watch TV so I have never seen it, I only saw it in the stores.
It's called an Iron Gym and the website has them two for one! buy two and split the cost with a friend. I just bought this at Bed, Bath and Beyond for more...rats!
Pull ups and chin ups are one of the best exercises you can do for the entire body! For muscle growth ( Hypertrophy ), don't "kip" them (AKA Crossfitters), but concentrate on a slow eccentric move, that's the lowering portion. The eccentric move is what counts, the concentric (pulling up) really doesn't mean much to you.
Pull ups are more difficult, they work the back more; chin ups are easier, they work the biceps more. Whats the difference? Chin ups are done with a supinated hand. That means your hand (the open part) is facing up at you, like if you were to try to eat soup with your hand!
I have a hard time doing many pull ups, but I am very good at chin ups, I do them quite a bit, with body weight and with weight around my waist.
If you are just starting, and cannot do one yet, don't fret! I had to learn, when I first started training with SC I couldn't do any (I may be slightly exaggerating to make you feel better- I think I could do 2 or 3), and he would help me up (hands around waist) and then I had to lower myself as slowly as possible, about the count of 10.
You can use a resistance band , I have a short video here where I demonstrate one. (Email readers will need to navigate to the blog to view the video).
If you don't have an SC, or a resistance band, use a chair to stand on -It won't be as buff or good looking as SC, but it will do what is needed. Stand on the chair, then pull your knees up kind of hop up and off the chair and the slowly lower. Do this as many times as possible.
Once you no longer need a chair, or band the goal is to bring your chin up and past the bar, then lower yourself all the way down. straight arms, those half way down arms are not complete reps!
Maintain a tight core, feel your back and lats pulling you up and controlling the movement down. Some find it best to bend at the knees, bringing the heels up towards the glutes, keep those abs tight, tight, tight!Soon, you can strap a kettlebell around your waist and pull yourself up, then lower yourself.
Pull ups will develop your back, your lats, biceps, triceps, abs (yes, keep the core tight and it will). This is one of the basics, everyone should have these in their repertoire!
The 16 year old - got his driver license today...eeek! At least I am still needed to cook and train him! We are doing chin ups every night before bed now too.