How to Do Pullups

Three Parts:Doing a Classic PullupTrying Different Pullup StylesDoing Exercises to Build Arm Strength

Pullups are a great way to build upper body strength, and they aren't just for gymnasts or athletes. Anyone can benefit from learning how to do a pullup. And contrary to what some believe, women can do them, too! Try doing a basic pullup using the technique outlined in this article. If you find you need to build more strength, there are several exercises you can practice to get strong enough to start doing pull-ups. Keep reading to learn how to do a pullup.

Part 1
Doing a Classic Pullup

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    Grip a pullup bar with your palms facing out. When you pull yourself up with your hands facing this way, you give your biceps and lats a great workout. Pulling yourself up with your palms out is considered the most difficult way to pull up your bodyweight. Start with your arms almost fully extended.
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    Pull your bodyweight up until your chin is slightly above the bar. You may have to strain, but keep pulling until you've lifted yourself up using your back and biceps.
    • In order to keep your bodyweight centered, you can cross your feet beneath you as you lift yourself up.
    • Consider kicking off your shoes to shed some of the extra weight that make it harder to lift yourself.
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    Lower yourself until your arms are almost fully extended. Lower yourself in a controlled way to work the muscles harder and prep yourself for the next pull.
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    Do another pullup. Once your arms are almost extended, start pulling up again. Repeat for as many reps as you can. If possible, do 3 sets of 10 reps.

Part 2
Trying Different Pullup Styles

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    Try negative pull-ups. These are similar to pull-ups, except you use a prop to help you get your chin up over the bar. The strength is gained when you slowly lower yourself back to starting position. After doing negative pull-ups for awhile, you'll find you get better at regular pull-ups.
    • Stand on a chair or a box, or have a spotter stand next to you.
    • Grip the pullup bar with your palms facing out.
    • Pull yourself up with the assistance of the chair or your spotter.
    • Slowly lower yourself back to starting position.
    • Repeat.
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    Do assisted pull-ups. These are done using a bar that is lower to the ground, enabling you to build up strength by lifting only part of your body weight with each rep. These can also be done using elastic workout bands.
    • Sit under the bar and grip it with your palms facing out.
    • Straighten up and lift about 50 percent of your body weight, keeping your feet on the ground and your knees slightly bent. Keep lifting until your chin is over the bar.
    • Slowly lower yourself back to starting position.
    • Repeat.
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    Do jumping pull-ups. When you jump into a pullup, the momentum you gain with the jump helps propel your body up so you can lift your chin over the bar much more easily than you'd be able to otherwise. This is great practice for doing classic pull-ups.
    • Stand below the pullup bar and grip it with your palms facing out.
    • Jump and pull at the same time, lifting yourself over the bar.
    • Slowly lower yourself back to starting position.[1]
    • Repeat.

Part 3
Doing Exercises to Build Arm Strength

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    Do biceps curls. You'll need a pair of dumbbells in a weight that you can lift 8 - 10 times before feeling muscle fatigue. Doing this exercise 2 times weekly will build up strength in your biceps and eventually help you get better at pull-ups.
    • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and the dumbbells at your sides.
    • Curl the dumbbells up to chest height, bending your elbows.
    • Lower the dumbbells back to your sides.
    • Repeat for 3 sets of 10 curls.
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    Do reverse pushups. This exercises simulates a pullup, but it's a lot easier to do because most of your weight is on the ground. It's an excellent way to start building up enough strength to do a pullup. You'll need either a dip bar or a sturdy mop or broom positioned across two chairs. Here's how to do it:
    • Lie down with your neck positioned under the bar or broom. Bend your legs and keep your feet against the floor.
    • Grip the bar with your palms facing out.
    • Lift your body toward the bar as far as possible.[2]
    • Lower back down to the ground and repeat.
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    Do pulldowns. You'll need a pulldown machine to do this. It's another effective way to strengthen your upper body and make you better at pull-ups.
    • Stand in front of a pulldown machine and grip the bar.
    • Sit down and pull the bar down to your collar bones.
    • Repeat.
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    Try chin-ups. This is like a pullup, but instead of gripping the bar with your palms facing out, they should face toward you. This position is generally easier and exercises the biceps and upper back. This position is a great compound bicep exercise, and a good exercise to do when you're training to become better at pull-ups.
    • Grip the bar with your hands facing you.
    • Pull your bodyweight off of the ground, crossing your feet beneath you.
    • Keep lifting until your chin reaches the bar.
    • Lower yourself back down.

Warnings

  • Make sure you are fully trained on any equipment you use at the gym.
  • See a physician before starting any exercise regiment.

Article Info

Categories: Push Ups and Press Ups