Pull-ups can seem so simple. You jump up onto a bar, you brace your body and pull yourself up over the bar. But we all know it’s not that easy. Pull-ups are really hard. And if you’ve never been able to do one, it can seem like an impossible task.

But I’m here to tell you that anyone can do a pull-up. We wrote all about the exact 2 exercises Julie used to go from 0 pull-ups to 5 pull-ups in only a few months. Read the post here to learn those moves and train for your first pull-up. I’ve included a sample 1-month plan that you can use. Make sure you sign-up for our pull-up challenge coming soon on Instagram, where we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process to get that first pull-up. More details to come.

How to progress your pull-up

If you can already do a pull-up, that’s awesome. Here’s a quick video showing you a few different pull-up variations you can try out.

 Chin-up (hands facing body) – This variation will be slightly easier than the next few ones. By turning the hands towards the body you will activate more of the biceps which will help out the big muscles of the back. Most people should be able to do a few more chin-ups than normal pull-ups (hands facing away).

Wide-grip Pull-up (hands facing away) – This is the standard pull-up variation most people are familiar with. By sliding the hands wider than the shoulders you’ll be using mostly the lats, the wing-like muscles under the armpit that connect to the back. This variation will be much more difficult than the above chin-up.

Side-to-Side Pull-up – This one builds off the wide-grip pull-up but adds a side-to-side motion at the top of the pull-up. This variation takes tremendous amount of core strength and stability to control your body at the top of the pull-up.

Also check out the below advanced pull-up circuit you can do if you’re feeling up for it. 

Pull-up Ladder Circuit

You’ll start with the hardest variation for low reps, move up to a slightly harder variation for double the reps, and then finish with the easiest variation for triple the original reps. If this is too challenging, try this exact circuit using the band-assisted variation. It would something like this:

  • Side to side pull-up – 2 reps
  • Wide-grip Pull-up – 4 reps
  • Chin-up Variation – 8 reps
  • Rest 2 minutes
  • Repeat 3 rounds

Give it a shot and have a great day. 


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