How To Get Strong Enough To Do A Pull Up A Step by Step guide

How To Get Strong Enough To Do A Pull Up? A Step by Step guide

Pull-ups can be your new go-to exercise. But do you have what it takes to master it?

Let’s be clear on this — mastering this toughest bodyweight move is no child’s play. It doesn’t only take strong arms but requires consistent practice and dedication. So, here’s our first advice to you, don’t fall into the traps of feeling like a failure with this.

Heck, even body-builders take months to get it right for the first time.

If you’re adamant about regularly crashing your gym session with this bang-on, effective form of exercise, keep reading to know all the loopholes and tricks on how to get strong enough to master a perfect pull-up.

How to Do Pull Ups for Beginners

Let’s begin with the basics and body-builder enthusiasts who have recently taken up this challenge. The mighty pull-up is at its peak toughest during these mere, first few weeks.

Beginners, don’t slump yet. We’re here to save the day!

How do beginners learn pull ups

Unfortunately, beginners luck doesn’t work with pull-ups. And as much as we’d love to believe that we have strong shoulders just by looking macho in the mirror — the scenario is quite different. Here’s our take on a few steps that will lead a beginner to accomplish their first-ever pull-up (Yay!)

  1. First, you will have to master ‘holds.’ This is where you hang from a bar at a decent height, with your shoulders slightly wider. And it’s as simple as that— “Just hang in there.”
    This will give your body a notion of supporting itself with its own weight. And that’s vital if you’d like to perform reps. A strong grip is essential to hold up your body longer.
  2. Secondly, we have depressions. Shoulder depressions will build the strength in your traps. Instead of just hanging, like the first step, you will be pulling yourself upward and downward ever-so-slightly. Thus, this step is crucial to get the activation booming in your shoulders and traps.
  3. On the third roll, beginners need to practice “negative pull-ups.” It’s an eccentric motion that causes your muscles to lengthen. Really get into this one by depressing and contracting your shoulder muscles. It’s important to hold yourself up in this step as long as you can. But wait! Don’t rush back down. Gently drop your weight towards gravity.
  4. Assisted pull-ups: This is where the famous bands will come into play and elevate your pull-up game. Step on a platform and let the bands do their trick to support your weight. The bands generally promise assistance for you to accomplish an informal pull-up. Remember, if you’re into step-4, you’re already doing a pull-up but, with a little assistance. So, go ahead and celebrate!
  5. Be prepared; you’re finally ready. Woohoo!

Now, for the last step, we have merged a few simple exercises to get the ball rolling, like the inverted row, pull-downs, and seated pull-ups. These are all part of your training and easily customizable. Don’t delay, as you’re finally ready to give pull-ups a shot.

Building strength for pull-ups

If you’re a beginner who’s struggling to build strength for pull-ups, don’t worry. We’ve all been there, and you’re never alone in this journey. Pull-ups were originally a powerhouse exercise; thus, you need first to build up the strength that will hold your body up longer.

The core strength comes from the arms, back, shoulders, and chest. You must also have tasted regular workouts in order to enhance and maintain strength when it comes to holding your body up. Below, you will find a few essential tips that can build your strength like no other.

Pull downs: Lat pull-downs are effective as it can target the latissimus dorsi muscle, which is vital to exert strength during a pull-up. Along with that, your arm and shoulder muscles get recharged as well.

Hanging leg raise: you may have already questioned us when we mentioned strengthening your core. Are you confused about how to do so? We got you.

Evidently, hanging leg raises will target your core and give your arms the major burnout it needs. Remember: If you’re a beginner who is just stepping in to test the waters — keep the width of your arms at a mediocre length. However, you’re free to widen up space if you’re a pro. The trick is to burn out your arms and core but not to cramp them up. Thus, you must go slowly during the movements.

Bicep curls: Bicep curls are easily achievable with dumbbells and resistance bands. During pull-ups, your arms are put through the most pressure after your core. Needless to say that, your arms will be holding you up, so restructuring their entire strength system is a must.

Here’s a dirty secret – this will all go in vain if your posture is incorrect.

Want to make sure you have proper form with your pull-ups?

Want to make sure you have proper form with your pull-ups?

It’s hard to pin-point a number so as to measure ‘how’ strong you have to be in order to score a pull-up. But even then, there are a few indicators that builders swear by to comprehend if they’re strong enough and what’s going south in the process.

Worry not, as we reveal to you the most infamous and possible reasons that could be holding you back. Thus, if you check any of these — it’s time to jab it away.

It’s too hard: At first glance, pull-ups seem possible anywhere, where there’s a bar, right? Sadly, you can’t pull it off right off the bat. For those of you who don’t know, there are 5 variations in a pull-up. Which one are you trying?

Here’s where it gets tricky. You mustn’t choose a random version simply because it may seem too quick or straightforward enough to get you fast results. Here’s the bitter truth—it won’t.

It’s always strategic to start slow and gradually rise up the scale. Fun fact: you can achieve beginner-level pull-ups even without a bar. Give it a try.

Weak muscles: you’re simply not ready — allow me to rephrase; your muscles are simply not ready to physically lift your body off the ground. And before you melt down into a mush of tears, let me tell you that it’s completely fixable.

Nobody is born ready for such a complicated exercise. Give iso-eccentric pull-ups a try to get your body enough tension and endurance to perform a pull-up. It truly is a challenge but one that’s accomplishable. In order to get your upper body to start working, try grabbing onto a bar and jumping until it touches your chest.

Positioning: Have you heard of the serratus anterior? Yep, that’s where it’s going wrong if your positioning is off. When your positioning seems a bit off, it would directly mean that all the seventeen muscles in your serratus anterior are working incorrectly, forbidding you from the act called a pull-up.

How To Master The Pull-Up – One Of The Toughest Bodyweight Moves There Is

Your wait is finally over. In this section, we will disclose all the know-hows of mastering a pull-up. Stay tuned. But first, let’s do some warm-up, shall we?

Exercises to head start a pull-up –

In order to get your body pumped, you need a seamless routine of body exercises. These exercises also inevitably help with completing pull-ups.

We’re finally down to unveil the top 10 body exercises that will get the ball rolling sooner rather than later.

  • Hollow Hold
  • Bent-Over Row
  • Hanging Hold
  • Deep Low Row
  • Hinged Row
  • Lat Pull Down
  • Bridged Row
  • Negative Pull-Up
  • Assisted Pull-Up
  • Push Press Negative

That sure does seem like a ton of exercise for one human being, whew!

But what if you don’t have a bar at home? Hmm.. a tricky question. Keep reading to know-how!

Exercises to improve pull-ups without a bar

Let’s say you don’t have a spare bar begging to be used at home. What do you do? Kick out all your dreams of serving the art of pull-ups?

Absolutely not!

Here are some alternatives that you can bang into your workout session if you want to go bar-free.

  • Doorway rows
  • Towel doorway rows
  • Inverter rows with the chair
  • Towel pull-ups
  • Strap pull-ups


Don’t forget to check out YouTube videos on how to accomplish them successfully and get ready for the hot bod’ that you’ve always craved.

Generally, most people face issues with their weak grip. This leads to letting go of the bar sooner or simply failing to do a pull-up consistently. That is why, amongst every other body part that needs to be active, your grip is one of them too.

Athletes believe that rope and towel pull-ups and climbs give amazing results to strengthen one’s grip. If you take 30-second breaks and repeat these exercises, you will most definitely see a positive change.

A neat pull-up progression workout can get you through your struggling, initial days. Moreover, these 6 step routines of your pull-ups will adjust to the body without cramping it up and let you prosper.

  • Commit to pull-ups 3 times a week
  •  In the second week, perform 2 pull-ups and do 1 pull-up for five sets
  • In the coming week, do 2 pull-ups again for 2 sets and 1 pull-up for 4 sets
  • Lastly, add 1 rep to each week till you pull off 3-5 pull-ups in total

Reminder: Take 30 seconds to a minute break in between these progression workout sessions.

But, what will 100 pull-ups a day do?

Ever watched that clip from KKW where Kim and Kourtney have trouble opening up a jar? Your day to day chores will be 10x easier, such as the said – opening up jars, if you commit to doing 100 pull-ups a day. But honestly, you can open up a jar if you just immerse it in hot water.

But, hey, this also means that you’ll be stronger than most others in any given room. If ultimate fitness, strength, and physical ability are your goal — go ahead; there’s no stopping!

What you can pull off with your body type is entirely upon you, so kudos! However, if we have to put numbers to it, we recommend you try pull-ups 2-3 times a week. On the other hand, we would also like to remind you that a minimum of 24-48 hours of break between each of these sessions is vital for your body.

Given that, how many pull-ups can you perform in one go? 20? 100? Whatever your number is — we’re proud of you!

The Waiting:

We’re all caught up in this fast-moving life. Needless to say that, we want quick results for everything, from our morning coffee to even something as delicate as working out.

Let’s address some of your relentless questions that may have popped up in your head while skimming this article.

How long does it take to build strength for pull-ups?

Obviously, if you’re a beginner, your progress will be slow. And your results will shine through, slower. I know — Ugh!

But, hey, on the bright side — it does shine through if you’re committed! Usually, if you start with pull-ups once a week, it will take about 3-4 weeks to start the muscle endurance and strength that you’re targeting. So, be ready to say hello to your new biceps!

How to increase pull-ups in 2 weeks?

We all love a little Fast&Furious move, even when it comes to our bodies. Thus, if you’d like to reach your goal in 2 weeks, you will need to up your game. And how must you do that?

Simply take your existing pull-up number and multiply it by 5. Keep doing that until you reach your goal. This is the safest, fastest, and, lo and behold, the most hectic form to do it.

How long does it take to build noticeable muscle?

Along with 3-4 weeks of time needed to build strength for pull-ups, you will also notice visible muscle growth at around 8 weeks’ time. For beginners, 8 weeks is an appropriate time, whereas, for experienced workout junkies, changes shine through at 3-4 weeks.


Which of these routines and workouts suit you best? Jump onto that wagon first in order to slip your way into performing your first-ever pull-up.

Here’s a penny of our thought — nobody’s body-shaming you for the way you are. If you want to deliver a pull-up, do it for yourself and nobody else. Because, at the end of the day, if you’re going to look sexy in the mirror for yourself — nobody can stop you!

Live your dreams and take it one workout at a time.

Jimmy Falcon
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