After today's guide you'll be able to do a pull-up everywhere, like Steve does.Pull-ups are my favourite train of all time.

However what if you may’t do a pull-up but?

The reply: learn this final information on getting your first pullup ASAP!

Here's a gif of a pull-up in perfect form.

We’ve got helped a whole lot of On-line Teaching Purchasers get their first pull-up, and we’ll cowl our actual methods under! 

As a part of our Energy Coaching 101 sequence, we offer you an actual plan to comply with main you to your very first full pull-up:

Should you can already do a pull-up (woot!), you may wish to try our article on correct pull-up type, though we’ll cowl numerous the identical materials right here.

Let’s do that thang.

Recommendations on The way to Begin Doing Pull-Ups

Within the video above, Coach Jim walks you thru the precise development system we use with our teaching shoppers who wish to get their first pull-up (or chin-up).

Earlier than we get into workouts to progress right into a pull-up, let’s chat about some common methods.

Contemplate the next three factors when making an attempt to get your first chin-up or pull-up:

#1) This could hopefully be apparent, however the extra you weigh, the extra you need to elevate with a view to full a pull-up.

Should you’re actually severe about finishing a pull-up, begin by getting your weight loss plan below management. 

As we are saying right here at Nerd Health, 80-90% of weight reduction comes right down to what you eat (#4 within the Guidelines of the Insurrection).

Listed below are some assets that will help you with weight reduction:

#2) MAKE YOUR “PULL” EXERCISES A PRIORITY. Lots of people do each different train earlier than doing any back-related workouts, in the event that they do any in any respect.

After warming up correctly, your first train ought to at all times be the stuff that you simply wish to work on essentially the most – on this case, it’ll be your again muscle tissue.

Till you get your first pull-up completed, concentrate on the again workouts detailed within the ranges and exercises on this information.

#3) The development we define is a path that works for most individuals, however does NOT should be adopted to a T.

We give pattern units and reps and when to maneuver up, however when you really feel like you may progress sooner or wish to attempt doing full pull-ups earlier than we advocate, that’s OKAY.

That is the slower development methodology, the place some folks will wish to do fewer reps and progress to the subsequent ranges sooner – that’s okay.

We advocate shifting as much as the subsequent degree when you are able to do 3 units of 8 reps of a selected train. If you need the accelerated path, transfer on up as sooner as you are able to do 3 units of 5 reps. You do you boo.

You can follow our path for a pull-up but feel free to make it your own!

Need somebody to construct you a custom-made development plan for doing all your first pull-up? Our 1-on-1 On-line Teaching Program will just do that, plus your coach can evaluate your actions by way of our app so that you’ll know your coaching appropriately and safely.

Stage 1 Pull-up Exercise: Bent Over Dumbbell Rows

Do a dumbbell row as a great beginner exercise to get strong enough for a pull-up!

We’re going to start out with bent-over dumbbell rows, essentially the most primary of again workouts, in case you’re ranging from ABSOLUTELY sq. one.

Stage 1 Pull-up Exercise:

  • Bent-over dumbbell rows: 8 reps for every arm (or as many as you are able to do)
  • Relaxation for a 2-minute break
  • Do one other set
  • Repeat till you hit 3 units

What weight must you begin out with initially?

No matter permits you to get to a minimum of 5 reps a set.

As soon as you are able to do 3 units of 8 reps (every arm), it’s time to choose up a heavier dumbbell.

This can permit you to get stronger and stronger. 

Ensure you give your self a minimum of 48 hours till you do the Stage 1 Dumbbell Rows once more, so you may embody these dumbbell rows on your exercises on:

As quickly as you are able to do 3 units of 8 reps, it’s time to maneuver as much as a heavier dumbbell.

  • As soon as you may elevate a 25-pound (10kg) dumbbell or heavier, take into account shifting as much as the subsequent degree.
  • If you’re just a little bit larger than the typical bear, you may wish to keep on with this step till you lose just a little bit extra weight and get stronger – perhaps go to 35 or 40-pound (18kg) dumbbells.

Need assist designing your individual exercise routine? I’ve obtained two choices for you.

The primary is to go over to “Construct Your Personal Exercise Routine” and get your arms soiled. Our information will stroll you thru constructing a full-body train program in 10 easy steps.

The second is to have a Nerd Health Coach do all of the heavy lifting for you (probably not, you continue to need to elevate stuff), by having them construct you a tailored exercise routine:

Stage 2 Pull-Up Exercise: Inverted Body weight Rows

Inverted rows are a great exercise to work on doing your first pull-up.

Body weight rows are the PERFECT precursor to pull-ups – they work the identical muscle tissue, and have you ever lifting your individual body weight, simply at a unique angle.

For this degree, we’ll offer you two choices: It’s also possible to make changes.


You’ll be able to comply with the remainder of this exercise as a part of our 6-Stage Fitness center exercise information, which is able to allow you to go from whole fitness center beginner to pull-up progressing badass!

At your fitness center, discover your Smith Machine and set the bar at about chest peak. 

A better bar makes the train simpler to start out:

Start with inclined inverted rows for your pull-up workout. Then drop lower for more required effort.

And as you get stronger, you may set the bar decrease:

As you get lower, like this, the row will be harder to do. Great way to progress into a pull-up.

Right here’s a complete publish I did on inverted body weight rows.

Right here’s the right way to do an inverted body weight row:

  1. Set the bar at a peak the place it’s difficult so that you can full 3 units of 8 reps with two minutes of relaxation between units.
  2. Clench your butt and preserve your abs tight and physique straight all through the train. 
  3. Pull your shoulder blades down and again in the direction of one another (such as you’re attempting to pinch a pencil between them behind your again).
  4. Focus your thoughts on PULLING along with your arms.
  5. Pull till your chest touches the bar (not your neck).
  6. As quickly as you may full all 3 units of 8 reps, set the bar heigh decrease to make the train harder.

If it helps, here’s a video demonstration with gymnastic rings, however you can begin with a bar as displayed within the photos under.

If you want to make the train much less difficult, bend your knees and put your ft flat on the bottom:

Bending your knees like so can be helpful to start doing inverted rows.

Stage 2 pattern exercise routine:

  • Monday – 3 units of 8 reps of overhand body weight rows

Alternate between an overheand and underhand bodyweight row.

  • Wednesday – 3 units of 8 reps of underhand body weight rows (arms reversed)

Alternate between underhand and overhand when doing bodyweight rows.

  • Friday – 3 units of 8 reps of overhand body weight rows

(After which go underhand, overhand, underhand the next week)

As quickly as you’re doing body weight rows the place your physique is at a 45-degree angle or decrease, you may progress to Stage 3.


You’ve 4 paths right here:

1) Buy a door body pull-up bar, cling a pair of gymnastic rings from them. After which comply with the identical recommendation as above!

2) Use your kitchen desk for rows (BE CAREFUL):

3) Do inverted rows between a pair chairs, as we stroll you thru in The way to Do Pull-ups With out a Bar:

This gif shows Jim doing a row on chairs

4) Transfer as much as Stage 3 and progress with warning there.

If you’re fighting rows, you’re undecided you’re doing them appropriately, otherwise you’re undecided the right way to progress to the subsequent degree, try our 1-on-1 teaching program

It’s the kind of program that helped single mother Leslie lose 100+ kilos and begin coaching with gymnastic rings and handstands! 

How did Leslie transform? Strength training. with pull-ups

Stage 3 Pull-Up Exercise: Assisted Pull-Ups

Steve doing an assisted pull-up, a perfect precursor to a regular pull-up!

Okay! It’s time to get to ACTUAL pull-ups right here! Personally, I don’t like utilizing the assisted pull-up machine in a fitness center because it doesn’t provide the full feeling of a pull-up, nevertheless it’s definitely higher than nothing.

As a substitute, I like to recommend doing one in every of these alternate options:

#1) Assisted Pull-ups with a chair

A chair can be a great tool to help you get your first pull-up.

Both one foot or two on the chair, relying in your wants. Your ft are ONLY there for assist, use your higher physique as a lot as potential.

It’s also possible to use a field or similar-sized object for a similar consequence:

A box can be used instead of a chair for a pull-up.

#2)Assisted Pull-ups with train band: 

Staci using a band for an assisted pull-up.

You will get various kinds of train bands with completely different ranges of power, or a spread pack for simple development.

Put your foot within the train band and pull your self up.

#3) Assisted pull-ups with a companion:

A friend can be a great asset when you're trying to do a pull-up.

Have a buddy maintain your ft behind you and allow you to full every rep. Have them use the least quantity of assist potential to get you thru your exercises.

Right here’s the right way to do an assisted pull-up:

For an additional reference, Coach Jim and Staci present you the right way to do a variation of assisted chin-up proper right here:

That is in all probability the TOUGHEST degree earlier than getting your pull-ups. Should you get caught on “assisted pull-ups” and “assisted chin-ups”, you’re not alone. That is the place most individuals get caught.

We work hand-in-hand with folks such as you to get them their first pull-up in our On-line Teaching Program. Should you don’t know the right way to match these actions into your exercises, otherwise you simply need any person to provide the actual exercise to comply with every single day, we obtained you!

Lastly, a exercise that features Stage 3 pull-up workouts

  • Monday – Assisted Pull-ups – 3 units of 8 reps
  • Wednesday – Inverted Body weight Rows – 3 units of 8 reps
  • Friday – Assisted Chin Ups – 3 units of 8 reps

This can allow you to ramp as much as Stage 4.

Stage 4 Pull-Up Exercise: Prime holds and Bar Hangs

Coach Staci showing you the bar hang

Alright, so we’ve began off nice! We’re working these pulling muscle tissue and assisted variations – however an precise chin-up may really feel miles (or kilometers) away.

Heck, simply even holding onto the bar could also be a problem with out some help.

What ought to we do now? 

How about we work on holding onto the bar!?!

Earlier than we work on doing full vary, unassisted chin-ups or pull-ups, it’s actually useful to be robust and assured in holding unassisted components of the motion.

That is the place Prime Holds and Bar Hangs are available!

#1) A Prime Maintain is precisely what it feels like – we maintain the highest place of the chin-up or pull-up for a number of seconds (5 to 10). You’ll doubtless discover holding the highest of the chin-up (palms dealing with you) simpler than the pull-up.

Coach Jim holding at the top of a pull-up

That is positively one thing that you simply wish to first do assisted. We’ll then work to switch extra weight – little by little over a number of exercises – off our ft and onto our arms till we’re holding ourselves unassisted on the prime.

Utilizing a band is an efficient choice for assisted chin-ups, however utilizing a field, bench, or one other sturdy object might be a greater choice right here.

It can permit you to shift that weight onto your arms just a little simpler.

That mentioned, if all you might have is a band for this train then that’s okay! Look to make use of thinner and thinner bands, whereas lifting the ft and knees up a bit to additional cut back help (because the band received’t be stretched as far).

#2) On the opposite facet of the motion, we have now the Bar Grasp…which is just about what it feels like too!

Staci showing you the simple yet effective bar hang.

To carry out a bar cling:

  • Seize the bar with palms dealing with in the direction of you or away from you. You’ll doubtless discover hanging with palms dealing with away from you to be a bit extra comfy. Both path will assist strengthen up your grip.
  • Similar to with the highest maintain, you’ll wish to begin assisted then work to shift your weight out of your ft onto your arms till you’re hanging unassisted.

This gif shows Coach Jim doing assisted then unassisted hangs.

To additional supercharge this train: as soon as you’re hanging unassisted, work on retracting your shoulders down away out of your ears.

Like so:

Coach Jim doing a shoulder retract, shown from the back

And so:

Coach Jim doing shoulder retracts, shown from the front.

This small motion is TOUGH (and you may even follow it assisted) however getting robust right here will set your shoulders in a good higher place on your first chin-up/pull-up.

We’ll look to hold from the bar (assisted or unassisted) for a complete time of 30 seconds to 1 minute. At first this time could also be damaged up into a number of units (e.g., 10 seconds, 10 seconds, 10 seconds), however it is best to ultimately work as much as one full set.

So how ought to we combine both of those into our coaching?

#1) For the Prime Holds, do that at the beginning of your exercise (after your warm-up) for 3 units of 5 seconds. Ensure you give it your all! Actually squeeze the muscle tissue tight and put as a lot weight on the arms as potential!

With all that effort, you’ll wish to give your self 30 seconds to a minute relaxation in-between. I do know that feels like lots for simply 5 seconds of labor – however when you had been working arduous sufficient, you’ll want it!

#2) For the Bar Grasp, do that on the finish of your exercise for 30 seconds to a minute. Once more, look to finish this in as few units as potential, whereas making the train as difficult as potential. Transfer from assisted to unassisted, with the shoulders retracted downwards.

You can start your gymnastic ring training by simply hanging from the rings!

If you need to take a break throughout the bar cling time, then take sufficient relaxation in order that the subsequent maintain is productive.

Right here Are the Workouts You Can Embrace for Your Stage 4 Exercise Routine:


  • Prime Maintain (Assisted or Unassisted) – 4 units of 5 seconds
  • Assisted Pull-ups – 3 units of 8 repetitions
  • Bar Grasp (Assisted or Unassisted) – 30 seconds whole time


  • Prime maintain (Assisted or Unassisted) – 4 units of 5-10 seconds
  • Body weight Rows – 3 units of 8 reps
  • Bar Grasp (Assisted or Unassisted) – 30 to 60 seconds whole time

Friday –

  • Prime Maintain (Assisted or Unassisted) – 4 units of 5 seconds
  • Assisted Chin-ups – 3 units of 8 reps
  • Bar Grasp (Assisted or Unassisted) – 30 seconds whole time

While you’re capable of carry out the Prime Holds and Bar Hangs unassisted, then it’s time to maneuver to the subsequent degree!!!


Coach Staci showing you the front plant

What’s this??? Secret hidden workouts?

I simply needed to convey your consideration to an amazing addition to any of those exercises – particularly as issues actually ramp up.

Prepared for it?

It’s . . . the entrance plank!

This gif shows Coach Jim doing a front plank

The entrance plank (or any of your favourite midsection stabilization workouts) is a good train to do, ought to holding a Prime Maintain or a Bar Grasp show robust.

Should you haven’t already felt it throughout the earlier pull-up exercises – your center must be concerned too!

Throughout a pull-up or chin-up, if we squeeze by way of the midsection and glutes, the close by muscle tissue are capable of contract stronger by way of a phenomenon often called muscle irradiation.

In addition to sounding like one thing the Unbelievable 4 encountered in area, this cool “trick” may help engaged close by muscle tissue within the midsection, together with these massive again muscle tissue that pull us up!

A picture showing the latissimus dorsi muscles

You’ll be able to see muscle irradiation for your self when you’ve ever been requested to flex your biceps for somebody. You’ll instinctually squeeze your hand tight, as a result of it helps the biceps interact stronger!

If wanted, throw in some entrance planks work close to the tip of your exercise.

You’ll be able to even begin in your knees:

If you can't do a normal plank, start with doing them on your knees until you can advance.

Look to carry 30 seconds to 1 minute of whole time.

Alright, again to our common scheduled programming!

Stage 5 Pull-Up Exercise: Destructive Pull-Ups

Staci jumping up to do a negative pull-up.

Okay! We at the moment are DANGEROUSLY near getting our first pull-up!

The large step at this degree is doing a unfavorable pull-up:

  1. Seize onto the bar with an overhand grip
  2. Leap so your chest is touching
  3. Slowly decrease your self below management till you’re on the backside of the motion.

WARNING: This may be very harmful when you’re very chubby, which is why I’d advocate shifting slowly by way of steps 1-3 first.

Nonetheless, after you have a good quantity of again power (which you bought from Ranges 1, 2, and three), doing negatives is an effective way to construct arm and again power.

You’ve two choices for unfavorable pull-ups:

  1. Hop up on a chair to get above the bar after which decrease your self again down. The secret is “in management.”
  2. Leap above the pull-up bar, after which start to decrease your self again down IN CONTROL.

You don’t have to decrease your self so slowly that one repetition destroys you…decrease your self at a managed velocity – Counting to “three Mississippi” throughout the motion is an efficient tempo.

Listed below are the workouts you may embody on your Stage 5 Exercise Routine:


  • Destructive Pull-ups – 4 units of 1 rep
  • Assisted Pull-ups – 3 units of 8 reps
  • Bar Grasp (Unassisted) – 30 seconds whole time


  • Prime Maintain (Unassisted) – 4 units of 5-10 seconds
  • Body weight Rows – 3 units of 8 reps
  • Bar Grasp (Unassisted) – 60 seconds whole time


  • Destructive Chin-ups – 4 units of 1 rep
  • Assisted Chin-ups – 3 units of 8 reps
  • Bar Grasp (Unassisted) – 30 seconds whole time

When you’re doing the entire unfavorable repetitions in every trainyou’re prepared to do a pull-up.

As you’ll see above, we’re providing you with the “pull” workouts in case you are constructing your individual exercise. If you need newbie fitness center exercise program, these actions will slot in completely.

Alternatively, we will do the entire heavy lifting for you (nicely, not ALL the heavy lifting) – we’ll create a particular exercise so all you need to do is log into your NF Teaching App every morning and do the exercise your coach prescribed!

Stage 6 – Doing Your First Pull-up or Chin-up

OH BOY! My pricey Insurgent, it’s time for a…

We made it! Here's Staci doing a pull-up!!!

At this level you might have two choices:

A chin-up is whenever you seize the bar with an underhand grip along with your palms dealing with in the direction of you.

A chin-up is a pull-up, but with your hands facing towards you.

Many discover chin-ups barely simpler than…

A pull-up is whenever you seize the bar along with your palms dealing with away from you. Seeing as it is a pull-up information…


  1. Seize the bar with a grip barely wider than shoulder-width, along with your arms dealing with away from you.
  2. Begin from a useless cling.
  3. Interact your shoulders, pull them down and again in the direction of one another (like you’re pinching a pencil between your shoulder blades!)
  4. Flex your abdomen, pull your physique till your chest touches the bar.
  5. Slight pause, yell out “I’m a champion!”
  6. Decrease your self all the way in which again right down to a useless cling.

We cowl all of this and extra in our publish “The way to Do a Correct Pull-Up,” however the above will get you began

Relying in your weight, your degree of health and power, and the way far alongside you’re in these progressions, you may have the ability to begin with even multiple pull-up.

At this level, you generally is a full Fitness center Class Hero by following a Fitness center Exercise with these actions in there on your “pull” workouts:

 Stage 6 routine weekly schedule:


  • Pull-ups – 4 units of 1-2 reps (transfer onto the subsequent train when you can’t carry out a rep)
  • Assisted Pull-ups – 3 units of 8 reps
  • Bar Grasp (Unassisted) – 60 seconds whole time


  • Destructive Chin-ups – 4 units of 1 rep
  • Body weight Rows – 3 units of 8 reps
  • Bar Grasp (Unassisted) – 60 seconds whole time


  • Chin-ups – 4 units of 1-2 reps (transfer onto the subsequent train when you can’t carry out a rep)
  • Assisted Chin-ups – 3 units of 8 reps
  • Bar Grasp (Unassisted) – 60 seconds whole time

Congratulations! You’re now doing pull-ups. Ensure you watch that video above to ensure you’re doing pull-ups with correct type. Practically all people does them incorrectly, with unhealthy type.

Wish to ensure you have correct type along with your pull-ups? Check out our 1-on-1 Teaching program! Our spiffy cell app helps you to ship video of your pull-ups on to your coach, who will present suggestions so you may excellent your approach.

They’ll additionally construct a exercise program that’s {custom} to your state of affairs, which could have you doing units of 10 pull-ups in NO time!

Stage 7 – Superior Pull-up Strikes

Now you can move onto advanced pull-ups like Steve is doing here.

When you’re capable of do 3 units of 10 pull-ups or chin-ups, you might have a couple of choices:

OPTION #A: Proceed to get higher at doing extra reps – 3 units of 12, 3 units of 15, 4 units of 20, and many others.

OPTION #B: Begin doing different forms of pull-ups.

Listed below are some superior pull-ups you may attempt: 

#1) WIDE GRIP PULL-UPS (seize the bar WAY out with each arms):

Maintaining a wide grip is a great advanced pull-up.


Another form of an advanced pull-up for you. Shift your weight from arm to arm.


If you own some rings you can use them like so for some advanced pull-ups.

#5) TOWEL PULL-UPS (Nice for grip power)

OPTION #C) Add weight with a weight belt and do weighted pull-ups or weighted chin-ups:

A weighted pull-up is great for progressive overload on your muscles.

Personally, my favourite factor to do in a fitness center is weighted pull-ups; when you’re at this degree and fascinated with doing so, right here’s what you want to do:

  1. Get a weight belt. I purchased this one on Amazon and it’s labored out extremely nicely for me. I’ve tried doing the entire “put weights in a backpack” and it definitely works, however the angle of the weights hanging off your again is bizarre. With a weight belt, the load hangs down between your legs (not a euphemism) so it feels extra pure.
  2. Add small quantities at a time. Most gyms could have 2.5 lb (roughly 1kg) weights; you may really feel silly placing on a giant weight belt and solely hanging a tiny weight off it, however you want to begin someplace.
  3. Persistently add extra weight. I’ll heat up with two units of 5 pull-ups with no additional weight, after which do 3 units of 5 weighted pull-ups. If I can full all 3 units of 5 reps (with my chin over the bar for each rep), I’ll make an observation so as to add 2.5 or 5lbs (1 or 2kg) to my weight belt for the subsequent time.

Right here’s the right way to incorporate these Stage 6 workouts into your fitness center exercise routine:

  • MondayWeighted Chin Ups – 3 units of 5 reps
  • Wednesday Elevated Toes Physique Weight Rows – 3 units of max repetitions
  • Friday – Large Grip Pull-ups – 3 units of most repetition
  • (The next week, I’d alternate by doing the chin-ups with out weight, after which doing weighted pull-ups

The place do you go from right here? How about working in the direction of some of the spectacular workouts of all time? The MUSCLE UP (warning: uber superior)!

Our new app, Nerd Health Journey, not solely has an journey to get you your first pull-up, however we’ll additionally present you precisely the right way to do cool body weight methods just like the muscle-up too. No guesswork wanted right here, simply leap into the app and comply with the missions and exercises for the day.

You’ll be able to attempt your free trial TODAY, proper right here:

Raise Your self Up (A Life With Pull-Ups)

The world can be your pull-up bar as Steve is showing here.

Irrespective of your place to begin, you CAN do pull-ups.

And also you WILL do pull-ups with this information. 

You don’t have to comply with the development above precisely – it’s merely one path you can take with a view to attain the promised land…the place the pull-ups stream like wine and the ladies instinctively flock just like the Salmon of Capistrano.

High Five! You are now doing pull-ups!

Simply ask Christina, who can now do a number of units of pull-ups – her story is unbelievable:

Christina started rocking pull-ups after Nerd Fitness Coaching

Or Bronwyn, who misplaced 50+ lbs and now does chin-ups along with her daughter on her again!

For folks on the lookout for the subsequent step, we’ve constructed 3 choices that may float your boat:

1) If you’re any person that desires to get outcomes like the ladies above and comply with a tailored pull-up power program designed round their life and targets, try our widespread 1-on-1 On-line Teaching Program.

You’ll work with our licensed NF instructors who will get to know you higher than you realize your self, verify your type, and program your exercises and diet for you.

#2) Exercising at residence and wish a plan to comply with? Try Nerd Health Journey!

Our enjoyable habit-building app helps you train extra steadily, eat more healthy, and degree up your life (actually). We even have an superior journey that will help you get your first pull-up!

Attempt your free trial proper right here:

3) Be a part of our free group, the Nerd Health Insurrection, and we’ll ship you our free Energy 101 Information, which you may get whenever you join within the field under:

Comply with the trail that works on your schedule, your expertise, and your degree of consolation with this motion – there’s no disgrace in going slowly and progressing safely.

And when you’re gung ho about pull-ups, prepared for negatives and attempting to squirm for that first rep, be at liberty to go for it. Simply be secure.

While you DO lastly do a pull-up, I wish to be the primary to know – electronic mail me at and inform me about it!

For the Insurrection,


PS: Try our different three articles on pull-ups:

PPS: Wish to be taught extra? Learn the remainder of the Energy Coaching 101 sequence:


Photograph Souce: Muscle tissue that Transfer the Humerus

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