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How To Do A Pull Up. Correct Technique

Updated: Jul 1

Pull ups or chin ups are one of the best exercises you can do. If you can do them, I honestly can’t stress enough how important they are.


They should take a much bigger priority in your pulling or back program than just about anything.


Sadly though, they are very difficult to do. In all my years training clients I’ve had very few clients how are able to even do one. Getting an out of shape person or even just an average person to pull themselves up with muscles they didn’t even know they had is a bit of a tall order.


If you can’t do a pull up/chin up I highly recommend that it’s something you work on.


So how do you do it?


If you’re looking to start doing pull ups or you want to refine your technique to get more out of them, then this is definitely for you.


What makes the pull up so good is not just the muscles that it works, but it’s the finer details like spine, neck and shoulder positioning that get over looked.


It’s not about “banging out the reps”. There are a lot of positioning details that, if you can nail, will not only help your pull ups, but help in other exercises as you have a better understanding of positioning.


The quality of a rep is not, did their chin go over the bar. Form is key.


We want to be able to perform the movement without compensating anywhere.


I’m going to be looking at doing a strict pull up as it’s these strict movements that ingrain correct mechanics and low risk of injury.


Set Up


Grip the bar around shoulder with your hands around shoulder width. Wherever feels the most comfortable.


The grip is important. It’s the grip on the bar that allows you to generate torque in your shoulders and help keep your rib cage down.


We create torque same way we do on a barbell lift. It’s that same “bend the bar” idea. A bit more subtle here but similar thinking. As long as you felt the lack get pulled out of your shoulders then you’ve created torque.


Now that you’ve got your grip and are hanging, we organise the trunk. This is one of the biggest mistakes that people do.