Can you articulate a pull-up? Do not panic we are here to fix if you cant or to show you how to better perform it. Here we will take through a journey on how to work up to a pull-up with a training plan that will ensure its a reality.

A pull-up is the best indicator of your upper body strength. Your arms and back have an enormous amount of work to lift your entire body. Being able to perform many reps is an effective way to improve not just the common muscles but also your back, arms and forearms. It can also help you build incredible core strength.

Pull-ups are of the most under-appreciated workouts for developing abs—and every other muscle in your midsection, for that matter. Pull-up is one of the workout practices that gives most people even the most experienced trainer’s nightmares.

Here you will learn about some simple techniques that will change everything you’ve probably known about pull-ups. Continue reading to not only improve your workout but also increase your upper-body strength.

How do you start off?

Most people blame lack of back strength for failure to do pull-ups. To be stronger start by 1-arm rows and other dumbbell or barbell exercise. Ensure you are stiff so as to create tension which is paramount for a successful pull-up.

If you are still struggling with your pull-up’s train on these moves to better improve your workout.

Hollow body holds

Lie on the floor and lift your arms overhead. By now your elbows are straightened

Next cross both your hands and ankles. Press your hands and ankles into each other. This will create tension, and the lift up into a hollow like a body position.

While you are in this position your abs are securely braced. Take a deep breath and then squeeze.

Hold this position for 5 seconds, maintaining as much head-to-toe tension as you can. Take a 5-second break, then repeat for 5-6 reps per set. Over time, you can increase the duration of your holds. If you can maintain tension for a full minute, you are right there with the best

Hollow Body Horizontal Pull-ups

Here you will be using a dowel. Hold it as if it were a bar. While you hold the hollow position, bend your elbows to pull the bar across your face and toward your chest line.

This helps you maintain the core strength requirement while including an arm movement that replicates the pull-up while you are trying to breathe.

Hold the hollow body and try to complete 8-10 reps, breathing out as the bar comes to your collarbone.

Hollow Body Leg Raises

To create additional arm strength, practice the leg raise. Start by keeping your knees locked out and cross on foot over the other. Pull down to the stick and lift your toes towards it.

Remember to maintain tension throughout your lats to pull your torso up. Squeeze the bar as hard as you can with your hands and do the same procedure by pulling down the bar. The tension in your core, arms and back will help lift your legs easily.

Build Strength on the Pull-Up Bar

Before you can commence on pulling, build your hanging skills.

Bar Hang

You might struggle to maintain a dead hang from the bar due to grip strength. Hanging for 10-30 seconds can be a very effective way to build the grip strength needed to perform pull-ups.

Hanging Shoulder Shrugs

After conquering that challenge with ease, your next goal is pulling your shoulders down and tight to your ribs while holding the same hollow body position you used on the ground.

Hold that position for 5 seconds per rep, breathing out forcefully with each contraction.

Pull-Up Training

Now let’s help you develop strength if you’re a beginner, and provide value if you’re more advanced.

Flexed Arm Hang

It’s a simple, yet underutilized move that will have all the muscles in your back and arms firing hard.

To perform the move, just grab the bar and jump up. Keeping your chest as close to the bar as possible, hang there as long as you can tolerate. When you start to feel exhausted, fight the lowering for 3-5 seconds so you can get some strength out of the move.

Try to maintain 10 to 30 seconds per hold, accumulating up to 30 seconds in a workout. For eccentric reps, try to keep it to a max of 5 reps of 3-5 second eccentric lowering unless you want to look like a T-Rex for a few days after your workout because you’re too sore to extend your elbows.

A Plan About Pull-up Training Plan


Hollow Body Holds – 4 sets x 5 reps/set x 5-second hold per rep

Bar Hangs – 4 x sets x 6 reps/set x 5-second hold per rep

Flexed Arm Hang – accumulate 30 seconds


Hanging Shoulder Shrugs – 4 sets x 5 reps/set x 5-second hold per rep

Hollow Body Horizontal pull-ups – 4 sets x 8-10 reps/set

Hanging Leg Raises – 10 total reps


Hollow Body Leg Raises – 4 sets x 5-8 reps of smooth controlled tension

Eccentric pull-ups – 4 x sets of 4-5 reps working on 3-5 second eccentrics

DAY 4 (Pull-up day!)

If you can’t do a pull-up, perform…

Band Assisted Pull-ups – aim for a max of 3 reps per set

If you can do pull-ups, then….

Pull-ups – start with a single max set, then perform 3 sets of 50% of this number. For instance, if you do 6 on the first set, do 3 sets of 3.

Following this pattern will help you develop pull-up specific strength in your back and arms and the core stiffness needed to accomplish the movement. Since there is a max of three moves per session, you can combine this simple calendar with your current training program.

Pull-ups may never be easy. But by training for them specifically, you’ll soon be able to do a lot more than you think.