Pull-Up Progression

pull up exercise

Pull-up is the best exercise for strengthening the upper body. Period. Read on to know about the correct form and progression.


  • Try to keep your body straight throughout the exercises. Don’t cross your legs.
  • At the bottom position, your arms should be straight.
  • Keep the neck in a neutral position. Don’t try to push your neck above the bar.


Hold the bar at the root of your fingers, not at the middle of your palms. Holding the bar at your palms may form blisters on your hands.

Generally, Pull-ups are performed with your hands placed about shoulder-width apart. But the width can be varied by placing them narrower or wider. This makes the pull-up more difficult.


Exercises are listed in the order of difficulty. Start at the top and when you can do the recommended number of reps and sets, move on to the next one.

Negative pull-up

  1. Jump up to grab the bar with your chin above it. This is your starting position. You can use a chair or a box to achieve this.
  2. Lower yourself as slowly as you can until your arms are straight. The movement should take you about 3-5 seconds.
  3. Let go the bar and return to the ground, that’s one rep.


  1. Grab the bar with your hands placed about shoulder-width apart.
  2. Pull yourself up until your chin is over the bar.
  3. Lower yourself slowly to the starting position.

Pull-up vs Chin-up: Chin-up is performed quite similarly as the pull-up. The only difference is that you hold the bar with your palms facing toward you. Chin-up is a little easier than pull-up and it works more on the biceps. Close grip chin-up is a great body-weight exercise for biceps.

Weighted Pull-up

A weighted pull-up is simply what it sounds like. You can add weight in one of the following ways:

  • Use a dipping belt around you to hold a weight plate
  • Hold a dumbbell with your feet
  • Use a weighted vest
  • Use a backpack

Extended-leg pull-up

Perform a pull-up with your legs extended in front of you.

Typewriter pull-up

  1. Do a normal pull-up.
  2. Then at the top, Pull yourself to left and right. Your arm should be straight when you go to each side.
  3. Then lower yourself normally.

Archer pull-up

  1. Start with a wider grip with your thumbs over the bar.
  2. Pull yourself up to one side (left or right) by bending that arm. Keep the other arm straight. The straight arm will go over the bar and you can use it to give yourself a little push.
  3. Lower yourself normally.

One arm pull-up

One arm pull-up is done by grabbing the bar with just one hand. This is very hard and needs incredible strength to perform.

You can grip your arm with the other hand just below the wrist to make it slightly easier.


Pull-up (exercise). Wikipedia.

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