Published in


How to do Pull-Ups, Common Mistakes and Popular Variations

Pull-up in my opinion is the best upper body exercise that you can perform. This exercise is a true test of your fitness and is actually quite difficult to perform. If you are a man and can perform 5 pull-ups, I will call you fit. If you are a lady and you can perform 1 pull up, you have my respect. Lets learn how to perform a pull up

Download our free health and fitness app with hundreds of workouts. Just click here.

How to Perform a Pull up

A correct pull up is performed hanging from a straight bar with your full bodyweight suspended. Arms should be extended fully at the elbow and the feet may be just hanging or crossed. The shoulders should be engaged, which means having the sensation that your neck should not be falling though your shoulders. Now start pulling yourself up in a controlled manner. Your chest should be sticking out and shoulders engaged. To complete a full pull up, the chin should surpass the hands/ bar by at least 1 inch. Focus on squeezing your back at the top. The descent should be controlled and steady.

Common Pull up Mistakes

Common mistakes while performing pull-ups are

1. Performing partial pull-ups by not going all the way down to the dead hang

2. Kicking from the legs to gain momentum also called kipping. This can injure your shoulders

3. Rounding your shoulders: Rounding your shoulders while performing a pull up will not engage your back and put strain on your arms.

4. Bending Wrists: Bending at the wrist and moving elbows in front while pulling can injure your elbow. This generally happens when you are weak or getting tired and must be avoided.

Download our free health and fitness app with hundreds of workouts. Just click here.

Benefits of Pull ups

If you want a V-shaped back, which is the pinnacle of male body then you must perform pull ups. This exercise mainly targets your back muscles and the biceps, with the abdominals being used as the stabilizer muscles.

Popular Variations of Pull ups

Variation 1 Assisted Pull-ups: Pull-ups are a difficult exercise and if you are just beginning then you might not be able to perform even a single pull up. In such a situation you can tie a resistance band to the bar and perform pull with them. The resistance band will take away part of your body weight, making the exercise easier to perform.

Variation 2 Chin-ups A Chin-up is performed by changing your arms to a supinated grip i.e. palms facing backwards. This version engages more of your biceps and gives your lats a break.

Variation 3 Wide Grip Pull-ups: Wide grip pull-ups use a wide pronated grip and work more of your back than your biceps.

Variation 4 Neutral Grip Pull-ups: Neutral grip pull ups are performed with your palms facing each other. This variation is easy on your shoulders and elbow and is a good compromise between pull ups and chin ups

Variation 5 Commando Pull-ups: Here you stand perpendicular to the bar with palms facing each other then pull on each side of the bar

Variation 6 Plyometric Pull-ups: In this variation your palms leave the bar for a split second at the top. This variation is great for building explosive power

Variation 7 Weighted Pull-ups: If you find bodyweight pull ups too easy, you can put some weight in your backpack and perform pull ups with them. Adding weight will increases the intensity of your pull ups and make you stronger.

Pull up is a difficult exercise to perform, however there are just too important to be kept out of your program. If you cannot perform a pull up then start off with assisted pull-ups. There is a huge satisfaction that one gets while performing the first pull-ups as it is a clear indication that you are now officially a fit individual.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Rahul Yadav

Discover Indian Heritage: Arts, Science, Religion and Philosophy of India