Master This Move: Pull-Up

The pull-up is one of the most popular body-weight movements of all time. Having to fight gravity directly, it is also considered one of the most challenging moves to perform; often, it is used as a gauge for an individual’s upper-body strength.

Beginner Considerations

If you have a history of shoulder injuries and issues, this movement should be used with caution. Tight lats and shoulders will inhibit the effectiveness of this exercise, as well as create a potentially unsafe range of motion. Consult your physician and physical therapist or chiropractor for clearance for this exercise.

Best Practices

Master This: Pull-Up

  1. Grip a bar that is high enough so your feet are off the ground when in a dead-hang position.
  2. Grip the bar with a strong, tight grip. Actively pull yourself up so that your chin is at least level with the bar.
  3. Slowly lower yourself back down into the dead-hang position.
  4. From a dead hang, continue to repeat for desired number of reps.

Make It Easier: Use an assisted pull-up machine, or use a band that you step your foot in.

Make It Harder: Use a slower tempo, or add a weight vest.

Photo credit: Tom Casey,