A proper pull-up is a yogic feat of concentration and grace. It is possible only when multiple muscle groups are working in tandem: the biceps, the latissimus dorsi, legs, abs and lower back to keep the body straight. ‘‘Calisthenics’’ comes from the Greek words kallos, which means beauty, and sthenos — strength. The pull-up is the apotheosis of beauty-strength, a motion that unites virtually every muscle group — and one that is surprisingly hard to perfect.
Sam Graham-Felsen, “The Pull-Up”, The New York Times Magazine (2 July 2017), 21.