How To Get Your First Pull Up

Have you ever tried to do a pull up and wasn’t able to do it?

Despite being a body weight exercise, the pull up is one of the more challenging movements in the gym which can take a lot of time to achieve. You may be wanting to incorporate pull ups into your workout, but where do you start if you can’t do them?

We will break down a few methods which will help you build up the strength to be able to do a pull up.


Firstly, we should ask: Why should I be doing pull ups?

  • They are a compound movement, meaning they utilise many muscles and will build overall upper body strength. Compound exercises mimic natural movement and help improve coordination, reaction time and balance. 
  • It is a low impact exercise. If you are looking to avoid putting strain on your joints, this is a great movement for you.
  • Like most exercise, it will help to improve both physical and mental health.


How to progress to a Pull Up

Assisted Pull Up Machine – At our gyms we have assisted pull up machines. These machines are great as they let you do the movement of a pull up while taking away some of your body weight making it easier. Start with a heavy weight (the heavier the weight, the more the machine will help you out) and get used to the movement. 

Dead hangs – Find yourself a pull up bar, hold on and just hang. This will help improve your grip strength which is important for the movement. See how long you can hold on for before your hands start to give up. Keep this up and see how you progress over a time period.

Negative Pull Up – Grab a box to place below a pull up bar. You want to start the movement from the top and slowly lower yourself back onto the box. You are only doing half the movement. Doing this will help to grow strength in the muscles needed for a pull up. 

Incorporate all these into your workout and you will start to see progress and get that first pull up!



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