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Complete Pull-Up Tutorial

Increase Your MAX REPS! Beginners Too!

Posted by Scott_Herman - September 7th, 2015

“BACK” IN THE GYM! The pull-up is a basic movement that yields INCREDIBLE results in terms of muscle and strength. But no matter how basic this movement may be, it is not the easiest to execute for multiple repetitions, especially for beginners.

In the video below you will learn proper form as well as various techniques to build the strength you need to perform multiple pull-ups in a row.  

If you are a beginner and have never been able to complete one pull-up, don’t worry I have a few modifiers to help you as well!  

Variation One: Pull-Up

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When performing a traditional pull-up the most important thing to remember is that to maximize as much muscle engagement as possible you need to pull your chin up and over the bar touching it with your chest and coming to a “dead hang” at the bottom of EVERY repetition.  A dead hang is when you fully lockout your elbows at the bottom of the movement.   Keep your core tight and flex your glutes for stability throughout the movement to avoid swaying back and forth as you complete your repetitions.

Variation Two: Assisted Pull-Up

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When performing an assisted pull-up you will need to use a piece of equipment designed to assist you, which I am using, or you can use a bungee strong enough to support your weight.  This variation will help you build the strength you need to pull yourself up and over the bar.  Be sure to fully lockout your elbows at the bottom of every repetition and really take advantage of the assistance.  By this I mean I want you to contract all the muscles in your back as hard as you can as you pull yourself up.

Variation Three: Assisted Pull-Up With Slow Negative

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This variation of the pull-up is a great way to build upper body strength when you do not have access to a bungee, but you will need a box to stand on.  What you are going to do is stand on the box off to the side of the pull-up bar.  Once in place, grab the pull-up bar and then jump off the box and hold yourself up for 3 – 5 seconds with your chest as close to the bar as possible.  After 3 – 5 seconds, slowly lower yourself to a dead hang and return to the box for your next repetition.

Variation Four: Beginner Pull-Up

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The last variation is one that is great for any beginner looking to build the strength to perform their first pull-up!  Find a bar that is high enough for you to hang from, but when in the dead hang position your butt does not touch the ground.  Having your feet on the ground will help displace your weight and as you begin to perform repetition you can push through your heels for assistance when you start to fatigue.


Related Videos:

How To: Beginner Pull-Up Progressions

50 Pull-Up Challenge PLUS 4 Rounds Of Intense Circuit Training! Shred Fat & Build Muscle!

Related Articles:

Pull-Ups vs Chin-Ups

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“Back” In The Gym!

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I used to hate pull ups and could barly even do one! its been two years no and I love them they are an integeral part of my back workout!

Scott_Herman  Edit  Delete  Close

@nilsfearons you should join me with my nuclei overload and do 100 pull-ups every day for 30 days!


The slow negatives and assistance pull-ups are excellent for people who haven't been able to complete a pull-up (Yet!).


Great suggestions for beginners. I will definitely have to give these a try!


Very nice!

Scott_Herman  Edit  Delete  Close

Negatives are the best way to build strength!

Wstar  Edit  Delete  Close

yeah, never knew about negatives!


Negatives are awesome! I remember doing negative chin ups when I first started

ohawkey  Edit  Delete  Close

Of course, I'm working on one right now. You still have my suicide grip article right?

Scott_Herman  Edit  Delete  Close

yeah they are great man!  Hope to get some good content from you soon!


Chin up and pull up both are good exercise for the entire back. This is a great article and video on back exercises!

Idris  Edit  Delete  Close

I love that combination of video and article!

FaithBramlett  Edit  Delete  Close

Scared of chin ups, one day soon I'll be able to lol #hth


Yeah man that's the big deal over here!!


awesome article Scott! im still working on my negatives :)

Scott_Herman  Edit  Delete  Close

Negatives are the best way to gain strength @fox84!  Awesome!


The pull-up is an excellent exercise, and it's great to see lots of variations on them!

Scott_Herman  Edit  Delete  Close

yeah man!  We will find a way to make sure ANYONE can learn them!


I hope this really helps a lot of you out!  Let's see them pull-ups!