Headbangers is a pull-up variation that will develop upper body strength and endurance. It involves a push and pulls motion whilst your chin is above the bar. The great thing about this exercise is that you can change your grip position to target different muscles. You will definitely get a big bicep and upper back pump if you do this properly.
Headbangers involves shifting your entire body weight up against gravity, it gives great trunk stability and upper body strength. Acording to a recent research on the muscle activation during the pull-up, of the four muscle groups assessed (trapezius, latissimus dorsi, biceps, and rectus abdominis). Reserachers have found that the rectus abdominis was the most active muscle group for all participants when performing the pull-up.
This exercise is a compound, and dynamic movement which targets your arms, back, shoulders, chest, and core. The primary muscles worked are the latissimus dorsi, trapezius, biceps, pectoralis major, anterior deltoids, and triceps. The secondary muscle worked is the abdominals.
Headbangers is an intermediate-level and above exercise, because you should be comfortable with doing at least 8 pull-ups, 8 chin-ups, and 15 seconds chin above bar isometric holds. Beginners are welcome to try this exercise, along with regression variations to unleash your inner gymless power!
Begin in a dead hang by gripping firmly on the bar using an underhand grip, at shoulder-width apart. Your feet should be off the ground. Keep your core tight.
Exhale as you pull yourself up so that your chin is above the bar. Engage your biceps, lats, and core. This is your starting position.
You can experiment with different grips to target different muscle groups, for example using either supinated/underhand grip to isolate biceps, or pronated/overhand grip to isolate your lats. The width of your grip also affects the tension of different muscles. For example:
Explosively push your head away from the bar by extending your arms horizontally. Aim to fully extend your arms, followed by quickly pulling yourself back towards the bar to the upper chin-up position.
Repeat this movement between 5-20 reps for 4 sets (see the recommended reps and sets range below). There are many headbangers variations that you can try by using different grips. This grip includes underhand grip, pronated grip, and mix grip. This will be covered in the Headbangers Variations section.
You should move on to harder variations once you have achieved your reps and set goals.
It is highly recommended that you utilize supersets to increase time under tension on the working muscles, which will overload the muscles, therefore, enhancing your muscular endurance and strength. An example workout could be:
The workout example above should be practice for 4 sets, 3 times a week.
Headbangers do wonders for your upper body muscles due to their compound mechanics. It will target your lats, biceps, front shoulders, and abs. Practicing this consistently with high volume will definitely contribute to your muscle mass, giving you bigger biceps and a monster back. Moreover, your muscular endurance will skyrocket, which will be beneficial in other aspects of your workouts such as cardio, or HITT.
If you have slumping shoulders or rounded back, it can lead to back problems and aches. To correct these issues, you should practice pull-ups and their variations to targets the upper body muscles and strengthening them. This will help stabilize the spine, therefore, improving your posture
Headbangers will develop your grip strength as you will be holding your body weight up in the top chin-up position. This will fire your forearms muscles away and aid growth, giving you crushing grip strength. A stronger grip strength assists you in carrying, holding, and lift items in your everyday life and your athletic performances.
This variation is a progression that will activate your core as you will bring your legs up at a 90 degrees angle in relation, creating an L-sit. This helps to develop midline stability and strength. To perform this exercise you will:
Headbangers head underbar is a regression to the regular headbangers. You will pull up using either a pronated or supinated grip until your head is just below the bar (bottom half pull-up). This is great if you are not yet able to perform a full pull-up, and you will still get the same benefits in targeting your biceps and lats. To perform this, you will:
Headbangers mixed grip utilizes both the pronated and supinated grip. This will increase lateral instability, which will develop your core, and broaden your lats (make sure to switch grip to prevent muscle imbalances!). To perform this, you will:
My name is Pat Chadwick, I am a calisthenics coach with over 4 years of experience in helping people from all backgrounds to achieve their calisthenics goals. My goal is to become the number one calisthenics coach in the world as it is my passion to help people change their lives through inspiring bodyweight movements. I believe everyone deserves the right to feel good about their health, body, and be delighted inside and out.