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Pegboards are training instruments that help the user develop upper-body strength. Pegboards are most frequently found in school gyms, to help pole vaulters and wrestlers, but can also be created or assembled in a home gym. While similar to chinups or rock climbing, pegboard workouts are different in that they allow users to work with their upper body and back muscles in a more personalized way.
The pegboard is a simple exercise apparatus designed to give a strong physical workout to the muscles in your arms, shoulders, forearms, hands, upper body and core. Holding a pair of 1- to 2-inch-wide pegs in your hands, you climb up, then descend, a board that has been attached to a high wall.
The pegboard can come in any shape or size, but is commonly a 3-by-3-foot square. Other pegboard shapes include long vertical rectangles for advanced climbers, or larger, horizontal surfaces for swinging side to side. Pegboards usually have 60 to 100 holes accommodating a 6- to 8-inch climbing peg.
Unlike rock climbing, there are no preset points of contact on a pegboard, which allows much more freedom of movement and may help to develop back muscles that are not addressed by traditional pullups and rock climbing. Additionally, pegboards can be designed using different patterns, allowing users to work out different muscle groups in new ways.
Start by performing a traditional pullup. Position your hands a distance roughly equal to your shoulder width, with both hands holding pegs at the bottom of the pegboard. With your arms straightened, allow your body to hang from the pegs. Next, pull yourself upward until your chest or chin reaches the same level as the pegs.
While performing pullups, keep your body straight without arching or swinging. Once your chest or chin has reached the level of the pegs, lower yourself to your starting position. Repeat as necessary. Note that while you perform pullups, your feet must not touch the floor. Avoid relaxing your muscles too much in the hanging position before performing pullups. Relaxing too much can place a great deal of stress on the joints in your shoulders.
Begin the pegboard exercise like you would a pullup. Once you have brought your chest or chin up to the level of your hands, remove one peg from its hole and place it in an empty hole an arm's length above you. Pull up to this peg, and repeat with the other hand. This may be extremely difficult at first, but with repeated practice you should be able to climb to the top of the pegboard and then descend.
If you are doing this workout in a home gym, take care when installing the pegboard. Install it firmly to a solid wall to avoid the pegboard coming loose and falling under your weight. Only attempt to use the pegboard under proper supervision to avoid injury.