How to do a Pull Up

One of the key moves many people work towards is a pull up. It’s not like a squat where you can do it, you just need to know the technique – this one is tough. Basically it’s a test of your strength relative to your body weight and girl, you’re gonna have to work towards it.

To help you learn that technique and start the process, we’ve created a step-by-step on how to do a pull up.

How to do a pull up

1. Grip a pull up bar with your hands just outside shoulder width apart

2. Hang from the bar by taking your feet off the floor

3. Engage your core and pull your scapulae together

4. Bending at the elbows, pull yourself up until your chin is over the bar

5. Return to the start position

Tip: Unless you were born crazy strong, you probably won’t be able to do a pull up first time. And if you do (nice), you probably won’t be able to do loads. To build strength, tie a resistance band to the bar and hook your foot in so you can perform more reps and boost your strength.

How do I become strong enough to do a pull up?

There are a few pull up variations you can perform to increase your strength and put you on the fast track to chin-over-bar-bliss.

The first we mentioned in the tip above. Use a resistance band to help you fit in more reps. If you’re in a workout for example, choose a band that is still challenging, but supports you enough to get the full amount of reps in.

Another way to build you strength is to perform eccentric pull ups regularly to strengthen the exact muscles you need to perform the rep.

Check out our how to do eccentric pull ups article here.

Looking for more guides on upper body movements? Check out these exercises:


gymgirlfit was created by health and fitness enthusiasts, with backgrounds in powerlifting and writing. We've written for a number of well-known fitness publishing companies.

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