How to learn to pull up?

Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

If you can not pull yourself up even once, you do not need to add buildup and jerks, trying to do it at least somehow. Jerking can cause injury. First of all, the shoulder joint.

Therefore, we will start with the leading exercises that will strengthen your muscles, and then we will tell you how to do the first pull-ups with the right technique.

How to prepare for pull-ups
These leading exercises will pump all the muscle groups necessary for pull-ups and improve neuromuscular coordination in this movement.

Your workout will look like this:

Shoulder involvement – 5 sets of 10 seconds each.
Retention at the top – 5 sets of 60 seconds. Or negative pull-ups – 3 sets of 15 times.
Australian pull-ups – 5 sets of 10 times.
Pullups on an elastic band or with support on a chair – 5 approaches at point-blank range.
Perform it every other day so that the muscles have time to relax and recover.

Involvement of shoulders in a hang on a horizontal bar
This exercise will boost grip and help you remember the correct starting position.

Grasp the horizontal bar with a direct grip so that the palms are slightly wider than the shoulders. Hang on straight arms. Tighten the press, lower your shoulders and bring the shoulder blades together. Keep this position for 10-15 seconds. Repeat 5 times.

Perform the exercise always, even when it will be easy. This is an excellent warm-up of the shoulders before pulling up.

High point hold
Grasp the horizontal bar with a direct grip and jump to reach the top point of pull-ups when the head is above the horizontal bar.

Hold this position for 60 seconds. Complete 5 sets. If you can’t hold out a minute, do as much as you can, but try to increase the time each time.

When you get to the minute, replace this exercise with negative pull-ups.

Negative pull-ups
Jump on the horizontal bar and pull up using the inertia of the jump. If your horizontal bar is hanging too high, substitute a chair. Hold at the top and lower as slowly as possible.

Perform 3 sets of 10-15 negative pull-ups.

Australian pullups
To do this, you will need a low-lying crossbar, a bar of the bar on the racks, or even a mop laid on two high chairs. The only requirement is that the crossbar should be high enough so that you can fully extend your arms in the hang.

Grasp the bar with a direct grip, leave your legs on the floor, stretch the body in a line. Pull yourself to the bar, touch it with your chest, and then lower back. The body is always stretched in one line, the press and buttocks are tense so that the priest does not hang down.

Perform five sets of 10-15 repetitions.

Pull-ups with an elastic band or with support on a chair

If you have a rubber band-expander, hook it on the horizontal bar, but one or both legs in the loop and carry out pull-ups. The tape will remove part of the load, and it will be easier for you.

If a set of expanders with different resistance is available to you, start with thicker ones with greater resistance and gradually switch to thin ones.

If you do not have elastic, put your feet on a chair. Relax them and try to minimize your pull-ups.

Perform 5 sets at point-blank range: as many repetitions as you can.

When you can do 10 repetitions with support in the approach, you can try pull-ups without help.

How to do pull-ups
What should be the grip
With a reverse grip, the load is shifted to the biceps of the shoulder, a direct grip loads the back muscles more. Pulling back is easier, so use it first.

When you can complete the exercise with good technique, switch to a direct grip.

What is the starting position?
Hang on to the horizontal bar. Initially, your shoulders cover your ears. Now lower your shoulders and bring the shoulder blades, tighten the press, tighten the pelvis a little forward. From this stressful situation, you will perform pull-ups, and you must return to it.

If your horizontal bar is low, you can bring your legs forward and bend them. The angle between the body and hips is about 40–45 degrees.

No need to bend your legs to a right angle, as if you were sitting on a chair. This pumps the hip flexor muscles, but at the same time stretches the latissimus dorsi muscles and deprives them of some strength.

How to rise
Pull yourself up until the chin goes beyond the horizontal bar. Do not relax your back: at the top point of the shoulder blades should be collected, as in the initial position, the chest is brought forward.

Do not sway or jerk. The movement should be smooth and controlled. You rise strictly vertically and fall in the same way.

Do not stretch your chin up, trying to finish the approach. The head and neck do not change position until the end of the exercise. Keep your pelvis tight, straight legs slightly forward, strain them.

How to go down
Lower yourself smoothly, without jerking or falling.

Perform a full-range pull-up until the elbow joints are straightened. Incomplete pull-ups you can do more, but at the same time, the muscles will not get the desired load.

Do not relax your shoulders at the bottom point, keep the initial tense position.

How to relax
After completing the approach, rest for 1-2 minutes. Resting less, you will not be able to give all the best in the next approach, more – you risk cooling down, so it will be more difficult to start the approach.

How much to pull up
Start with 5 sets at point-blank range. Do as much as you can, but watch the technique. If errors like a sharp fall, an elongated neck, or jerks appear against the background of fatigue, stop the approach, rest, and try again.

It’s okay if in the last approaches you do fewer reps: it’s better than overworking and injuring your muscles.

You can train every day or every other day to give your muscles time to recover.

What to do if you can’t
Pulling up is a difficult exercise, especially if you have no sports experience. Therefore, do not despair if in the first month or two you do not do so much or so far you cannot pull yourself up without support. This is especially true for girls with weaker shoulders than men.

To strengthen your muscles, try some exercises on simulators and with free weights.

The thrust of the upper block to the chest
This exercise will help to pump the broadest muscles that perform the main work in pull-ups on the horizontal bar.

Sit on the bench, grab the handle with a back grip. Straighten your back, flatten your shoulder blades, firmly press the feet to the floor. Pull the handle to the chest until it touches, without changing the position of the back. Return and retry. Perform the exercise smoothly, without jerking and swinging.

Pick up weight for 8–10 reps. Recent repetitions in the approach should be difficult. Perform 3-5 approaches.

Dumbbell Breeding
This exercise will help to pump the posterior deltoid muscles of the shoulders. Take dumbbells in your hands, start with small ones, 2–4 kg. Tilt the housing parallel to the floor. Spread your arms with dumbbells to the sides and slightly forward, return and repeat.

Perform 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions.

Biceps Curl
The exercise is designed to pump the biceps of the shoulder, this muscle also has a huge load in pull-ups.

Hold the barbell in outstretched arms. Bend your elbows and bring the barbell to your chest. Lower and repeat. Do 3 sets of 10 reps. Pick up the weight so that the last repetition in the approach is difficult.

Tilt barbell to the belt
This exercise loads the latissimus muscles well, as well as the trapezius, deltoid, and large round muscles – a complete set for pulling up.

Take the barbell in outstretched, lowered arms, bend with a straight back, slightly bend your knees. Pull the barbell to your stomach and then lower it. Perform 5 sets of 8-10 times. Set your weight so that the last repetitions are difficult.

What else to do
Perform lead-up exercises in parallel. Only exercise on your free days so as not to overload your muscles and not lead to injury.

And do not forget about the rest of the body: a strong shoulder girdle is beautiful, but harmony is above all.

Along with weak muscles, being overweight can interfere with you. If this is your problem, in parallel with the upper shoulder girdle workouts, do long cardio or HIIT sessions for weight loss. Even a couple of kilograms can play a big role.


12 thoughts on “How to learn to pull up?”

  1. Nadia, te escribo con más tranquilidad. En mi comentario anterior te dije que me gustan e interesan tus artículos. Te felicito. Ya no encuentro la aplicación “me gusta”, pero sigo tus publicaciones con agrado. Recibe saludos y mi reconocimiento.

  2. Merci Nadiia pour tous ces bons conseils partagés et très utiles ! Salutations à l’Ukraine… Bisous amicaux de France. <3

  3. Thank you for posting these tips, Nadiia. This shows proper technique and will spare so many from injury. I’ve worked out for years and can attest that every good workout routine includes pullups.

    1. You are welcome. I am glad it is useful, have a good luck with training, sport is important to stay healthy.

  4. Pingback: 15 best leg exercises - ForHealthForHealth

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: