The pull-up is one of the most effective and challenging bodyweight exercises. Follow these pro tips to help you do the perfect pull-up.
Want to achieve the perfect pull-up? If you have any interest in exercising, chances are you do.
Tips To Perform A Perfect Pull-Up
In this guide, we’re giving you five tips to achieve the perfect pull-up:
1. Know The Difference Between A Pull-Up And A Chin Up
This may not seem like a big difference to you, but it is when it comes to physiology.
A pull-up is when your hands face away from you. If you’re facing a mirror, you see you’re clenched knuckles.
In a chin-up, your hands face you. So when you’re gripping the bar, if your knuckles are staring you in the face, you’re not doing a pull-up.
Why this matters is because that slight hand change will change the part of your body doing the work:
- A pull-up is primarily for working your back and biceps.
- A chin-up works your biceps with a little emphasis on your back muscles.
2. Using A “Crushing” Grip
In order to give your back and biceps the ultimate workout, you have to start with your grip. A strong grip allows your shoulder and back muscles to contract properly. This makes it easier to lift yourself to the bar.
Here’s how to do a proper pull-up:
- Stand on a bench so you can reach the bar with ease.
- Grab the bar with your hands about shoulder-width apart and squeeze. Now squeeze again. One more time.
- Now, on this last squeeze, pretend you’re crushing the bar with your hands.
That’s the grip you want to use through your pull up.
3. Use Assistance At First
It’s hard to focus on having the right technique when you’re trying to hold your body weight up. That’s the beauty of exercise bands — they’ll help hold your weight so you can focus on your form.
After you feel confident you got your form and grip down, you can stop using the bands. But keep them handy as you may find another use for them.
4. Start Small
Don’t worry about busting out five sets of 25 reps. Not at first, anyway.
Start out small, focusing on your technique and form. Take your time in-between pull-ups. Set attainable goals that won’t discourage you and increase your goal every day.
For example, if you can’t do two pull-ups, start out with one. Take a rest for 30 seconds, then do your second. Reduce the time you’re waiting in-between until you can do two in a row.
The next day, aim for three. You should at least be able to do two but you may need to rest before your third. So be it.
Eventually, you’ll string a whole set together. You’ll feel pretty good about it, too!
5. Add Some Weight
When you hit the rep goals you want, it’s time to step it up. Try adding a weight belt to your pull-up routine.
Not a weightlifting belt, that’s something completely different. A weight belt allows you to add weight for purposes of pull-ups and chin-ups.
If you’re not ready for the investment, you can try adding ankle weights.
Think You Can Pull Off A Perfect Pull Up?
Remember, this is a taxing exercise. Don’t worry if you can’t nail the perfect pull-up your first week in the gym. You’ll get there!
Also, remember that is not only a biceps exercise. It works out your back just as much.
When you’re planning your workouts, try putting your pull-ups with your other back exercises. This may relieve some pressure from your arms if you’re trying to do too much that day.
For tips on your diet and supplements, check out our nutrition blog.