Not strong enough to do pull-ups? Check this guide with 6 steps to get your first pull-up and how to evolve to get above 10 reps without taking a break.
The pull-up is one of the best bodyweight exercises for your upper body. While the push-up works your shoulders, triceps and chest, the pull-up focuses more on your back. The best thing about the pull-up is that you don’t need much to do them – a bar or any place you can hang from works perfectly.
But we’re guessing you clicked on this article not to know the benefits of the pull-up, but rather how to get your first pull-up and begin seeing improvements with this awesome exercise.
The 6 steps to get your first pull-up you are about to see is a progression checklist of things you should be doing to get the strength to do them. They were shared by Rebecca Rouse on the YouTube channel Bodybuilding.com.
6 Steps to Get Your First Pull-Up
These 6 steps to get your first pull-up should help you increase your upper body strength enough so that you can do the exercise at least a couple of times before having to take a break.
1. Bar Hang
Simply hold yourself on the bar for as long as possible. Do this 2-3 times per week and try to add 15 seconds each following week from the one before.
- Beginner – 15-30 seconds
- Intermediate – 30-60 seconds
- Advanced – 1-2 minutes
2. Scapular Pull-Ups
Hang from the bar, without bending the elbows, and elevate and depress the scapula (shoulder blades). Think about bringing your shoulders to your ears and then lowering them back as far away as possible while hanging.
3. Self-Assisted Pull-Up
Sit on the floor with hands gripping the barbell racked above your head. With legs bent, pull yourself up and down in the pull-up movement. When it gets too easy, you can extend your legs in a more straight line and utilise less and less your legs to assist you coming up.
You can do self-assisted pull-ups on a barbell, squat rack, or smith machine.
4. Banded Pull-Up
Next in our list of steps to get your first pull-up is the banded pull-up. Now you begin to look like you are actually doing pull-ups, but with some help of a resistance band.
Simply wrap the resistance band around the pull-up bar and put one foot in the loop. Now pull up until your chin clears the bar.
The stronger you get, the lighter the resistance band should be.
5. Jumping Pull-Up
Put a box beneath the pull-up bar and stand on it. Use a boost from the legs by jumping up to the bar and simultaneously pulling yourself up until your chin is over the bar. Control the descent portion of the exercise and drop yourself off the bar. Repeat as necessary.
6. Negative Pull-Up
Negative (eccentric) pull-ups are great to help you achieve that last bit of strength necessary to control your body going up and down during the pull-up.
Simply jump until your chin passes the pull-up bar, pause to stabilise your torso, and lower down as slowly as possible until your elbows are fully flexed. The stronger you get, the longer it takes for you to reach fully flexed elbows position.
And those are the 6 steps to get your first pull-up from Rebecca Rouse. Click on the video below for more information.
VIDEO – 6 Steps to Get Your First Pull-Up
Check out more content from BOXROX you might find useful:
- resistance band exercises: Geert Pieters on Unsplash