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 possibly can’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 now have helped tons of of On-line Teaching Purchasers get their first pull-up, and we’ll cowl our actual methods under! 

As a part of our Power Coaching 101 sequence, we offer you a precise plan to observe main you to your very first full pull-up:

For those who can already do a pull-up (woot!), you would possibly wish to take a look at our article on correct pull-up type, though we’ll cowl a number of the identical materials right here.

Let’s do that thang.

Recommendations on The right 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.

Think about the next three factors when trying 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 raise with the intention to full a pull-up.

For those who’re really severe about finishing a pull-up, begin by getting your weight loss plan beneath management. 

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

Listed here are some sources 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 tissues.

Till you get your first pull-up carried out, deal with 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 have to be adopted to a T.

We give pattern units and reps and when to maneuver up, however in the event you really feel like you possibly can progress sooner or wish to strive doing full pull-ups prior to we suggest, that’s OKAY.

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

We suggest transferring as much as the subsequent degree when you are able to do 3 units of 8 reps of a selected train. In order for you the accelerated path, transfer on up as quicker 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 of your first pull-up? Our 1-on-1 On-line Teaching Program will do exactly that, plus your coach can assessment your actions by means of our app so that you’ll know your coaching accurately 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 lets you get to at the least 5 reps a set.

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

This may permit you to get stronger and stronger. 

Be sure to give your self at the least 48 hours till you do the Stage 1 Dumbbell Rows once more, so you possibly can embrace these dumbbell rows in 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 possibly can raise a 25-pound (10kg) dumbbell or heavier, take into account transferring as much as the subsequent degree.
  • In case you are just a little bit greater than the typical bear, you would possibly 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 personal exercise routine? I’ve received two choices for you.

The primary is to move 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 (not likely, you continue to need to raise 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 tissues, and have you ever lifting your personal body weight, simply at a special angle.

For this degree, we’ll give you two choices: You too can make changes.


You may observe the remainder of this exercise as a part of our 6-Stage Health club exercise information, which can enable you go from complete health club beginner to pull-up progressing badass!

At your health club, 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 possibly can 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 an entire submit I did on inverted body weight rows.

Right here’s the best 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 maintain your abs tight and physique straight all through the train. 
  3. Pull your shoulder blades down and again in 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 possibly can full all 3 units of 8 reps, set the bar heigh decrease to make the train tougher.

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

If it’s essential 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 possibly can progress to Stage 3.


You will have 4 paths right here:

1) Buy a door body pull-up bar, dangle a pair of gymnastic rings from them. After which observe 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 right 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.

In case you are fighting rows, you’re unsure you’re doing them accurately, otherwise you’re unsure the best way to progress to the subsequent degree, take a look at 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 health club because it doesn’t provide the full feeling of a pull-up, but it surely’s definitely higher than nothing.

As an alternative, I like to recommend doing one in every of these 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 help, use your higher physique as a lot as doable.

You too can 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 may get various kinds of train bands with totally different ranges of energy, 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 enable you full every rep. Have them use the least quantity of assist doable to get you thru your exercises.

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

For an additional reference, Coach Jim and Staci present you the best 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. For those who 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 individuals such as you to get them their first pull-up in our On-line Teaching Program. For those who don’t know the best way to match these actions into your exercises, otherwise you simply need any individual to provide the actual exercise to observe daily, we received 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 may enable you ramp as much as Stage 4.

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

Coach Staci showing you the bar hang

Alright, so we’ve began off nice! We’re working these pulling muscle tissues and assisted variations – however an precise chin-up would possibly 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 sturdy and assured in holding unassisted elements of the motion.

That is the place High Holds and Bar Hangs are available in!

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

Coach Jim holding at the top of a pull-up

That is undoubtedly 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 possibility for assisted chin-ups, however utilizing a field, bench, or one other sturdy object will likely be a greater possibility right here.

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

That stated, if all you may 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 gained’t be stretched as far).

#2) On the opposite aspect of the motion, now we have the Bar Dangle…which is just about what it seems like too!

Staci showing you the simple yet effective bar hang.

To carry out a bar dangle:

  • Seize the bar with palms going through in direction of you or away from you. You’ll possible discover hanging with palms going through away from you to be a bit extra snug. Both route will assist strengthen up your grip.
  • Identical 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 might be 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 observe it assisted) however getting sturdy right here will set your shoulders in a fair higher place in 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 finally work as much as one full set.

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

#1) For the High Holds, do that at the beginning of your exercise (after your warm-up) for 3 units of 5 seconds. Be sure to give it your all! Actually squeeze the muscle tissues tight and put as a lot weight on the arms as doable!

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

#2) For the Bar Dangle, 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 doable, whereas making the train as difficult as doable. 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 in the course of the bar dangle 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:


  • High Maintain (Assisted or Unassisted) – 4 units of 5 seconds
  • Assisted Pull-ups – 3 units of 8 repetitions
  • Bar Dangle (Assisted or Unassisted) – 30 seconds complete time


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

Friday –

  • High Maintain (Assisted or Unassisted) – 4 units of 5 seconds
  • Assisted Chin-ups – 3 units of 8 reps
  • Bar Dangle (Assisted or Unassisted) – 30 seconds complete time

While you’re in a position to carry out the High 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 deliver your consideration to a fantastic 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 superb train to do, ought to holding a High Maintain or a Bar Dangle show robust.

For those who haven’t already felt it in the course of the earlier pull-up exercises – your center must be concerned too!

Throughout a pull-up or chin-up, if we squeeze by means of the midsection and glutes, the close by muscle tissues are in a position to contract stronger by means of a phenomenon often called muscle irradiation.

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

A picture showing the latissimus dorsi muscles

You may see muscle irradiation for your self in the event 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 have interaction stronger!

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

You may 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 at least one minute of complete time.

Alright, again to our common scheduled programming!

Stage 5 Pull-Up Exercise: Damaging 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 massive step at this degree is doing a unfavorable pull-up:

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

WARNING: This may be very harmful in the event you’re very obese, which is why I’d suggest transferring slowly by means of steps 1-3 first.

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

You will have 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. Bounce 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” in the course of the motion is an efficient tempo.

Listed here are the workouts you possibly can embrace in your Stage 5 Exercise Routine:


  • Damaging Pull-ups – 4 units of 1 rep
  • Assisted Pull-ups – 3 units of 8 reps
  • Bar Dangle (Unassisted) – 30 seconds complete time


  • High Maintain (Unassisted) – 4 units of 5-10 seconds
  • Body weight Rows – 3 units of 8 reps
  • Bar Dangle (Unassisted) – 60 seconds complete time


  • Damaging Chin-ups – 4 units of 1 rep
  • Assisted Chin-ups – 3 units of 8 reps
  • Bar Dangle (Unassisted) – 30 seconds complete time

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

As you’ll see above, we’re supplying you with the “pull” workouts if you’re constructing your personal exercise. In order for you a great newbie health club exercise program, these actions will slot in completely.

Alternatively, we are able to do all the heavy lifting for you (effectively, 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 may have two choices:

A chin-up is once you seize the bar with an underhand grip along with your palms going through in 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 once you seize the bar along with your palms going through away from you. Seeing as this can be a pull-up information…


  1. Seize the bar with a grip barely wider than shoulder-width, along with your arms going through away from you.
  2. Begin from a useless dangle.
  3. Interact your shoulders, pull them down and again in direction of one another (like you might be 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 best way again all the way down to a useless dangle.

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

Relying in your weight, your degree of health and energy, and the way far alongside you might be in these progressions, you would possibly be capable to begin with even multiple pull-up.

At this level, you could be a full Health club Class Hero by following a Health club Exercise with these actions in there in your “pull” workouts:

 Stage 6 routine weekly schedule:


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


  • Damaging Chin-ups – 4 units of 1 rep
  • Body weight Rows – 3 units of 8 reps
  • Bar Dangle (Unassisted) – 60 seconds complete time


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

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

Need to be sure to 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 possibly can good your method.

They’ll additionally construct a exercise program that’s {custom} to your scenario, 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 in a position to do 3 units of 10 pull-ups or chin-ups, you may have just a few 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 varieties of pull-ups.

Listed here are some superior pull-ups you possibly can strive: 

#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 energy)

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 health club is weighted pull-ups; in the event you’re at this degree and interested by doing so, right here’s what it’s essential do:

  1. Get a weight belt. I purchased this one on Amazon and it’s labored out extremely effectively 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 burden 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 would possibly really feel silly placing on a giant weight belt and solely hanging a tiny weight off it, however it’s essential begin someplace.
  3. Constantly 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 a remark so as to add 2.5 or 5lbs (1 or 2kg) to my weight belt for the subsequent time.

Right here’s the best way to incorporate these Stage 6 workouts into your health club exercise routine:

  • MondayWeighted Chin Ups – 3 units of 5 reps
  • Wednesday Elevated Ft 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 direction of one of the vital 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 best way to do cool body weight tips just like the muscle-up too. No guesswork wanted right here, simply leap into the app and observe the missions and exercises for the day.

You may strive 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 start line, you CAN do pull-ups.

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

You don’t have to observe the development above precisely – it’s merely one path that you would be able to take with the intention to attain the promised land…the place the pull-ups circulation 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 individuals searching for the subsequent step, we’ve constructed 3 choices which may float your boat:

1) In case you are any individual that desires to get outcomes like the ladies above and observe a tailored pull-up energy program designed round their life and targets, take a look at 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, examine your type, and program your exercises and vitamin for you.

#2) Exercising at house and want a plan to observe? Take a look at Nerd Health Journey!

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

Strive your free trial proper right here:

3) Be part of our free group, the Nerd Health Rise up, and we’ll ship you our free Power 101 Information, which you will get once you join within the field under:

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

And in the event you’re gung ho about pull-ups, prepared for negatives and attempting to squirm for that first rep, be happy to go for it. Simply be protected.

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

For the Rise up,


PS: Take a look at our different three articles on pull-ups:

PPS: Need to be taught extra? Learn the remainder of the Power Coaching 101 sequence:


Picture Souce: Muscle groups that Transfer the Humerus

Supply hyperlink