Pull Ups – How to & Variations

Pull ups are a great back and arms exercise no matter what level you’re at! If you are new to it and have trouble with it, this is perfect for you since I will be going over how to work your way up to a full pull up! If pull ups are easy and you can rep them out, skip to the section titled Advanced Pull Up Variations for some higher level exercises to keep gaining plenty of benefits from these skills!

Getting A Pull Up

Pull ups are not an easy exercise for a lot of people, and many have a major goal of getting one full pull up. That is a great goal, and very achievable for most people! You just have to know how to strengthen the right muscles, and keep consistent! So as I said, working the right muscles. When you do a pull up, you mainly use your back and arms. More specifically, your lats, traps, rear delts, and biceps. So these are the muscles you want to strengthen to be able to get your self up. Common exercises to target these muscle groups include Lat Pull Down, Rows, Lateral Raise, Rear Delt Flys, and Barbell and Dumbbell Curls. These will all aid in progression towards achieving a pull up. Once you start getting close and are able to hold yourself up, step up on a block or stand so you can start at the top of a pull up and slowly lower yourself down, or hold yourself up as long as you can, then come down slowly. This will specifically strengthen all the muscles you use for a pull up, and will excel your progress! Lastly, getting a pull up takes time. So work hard and be consistent! Perform well organized workouts 3 – 5 times per week for constant progression, and you will begin to and continue seeing great results!

Advanced Pull Up Variations

If you are able to rep out 12+ pull ups at a time, then here are a few pull up variations or workouts to challenge yourself even more! First is are what I call pull up sliders! For this, do a pull up, but at the top, pull your body all the way over towards your right hand (extending your left arm) and then all the way over to the other side. Then come back down to the bottom to complete the full rep.

One other variation I’m going to go over is the 5 count negative. For this, perform the pull up normally, but lower yourself slowly. Count to 5 from the time you’re at the top until you get to the bottom. Perform as many as possible per set. To enhance this even more, do a small pulse up when you get half way down.

These variations will increase the intensity of each rep, providing more results in definition and strength! So give them a try the next time you have a back workout, and feel the difference!

Thank you for reading, and I hope this post helped enhance your next workout to maximize progress! For more information, check out my Online Training Page, Self Paced Training Page, Videos, and/or other Exercise and Nutrition Blog Posts!

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