Sunday, February 1, 2009

Pull Up Progressions

This information came in to me this past Friday from one of our CrossFit affiliates. Thought this might be helpful. Check it out.

A question came up today what you can do if pullups are not an option for you at this point.  let me walk you through a progression I have used on clients in the past to work on their pullups:
Lat- Pulldowns.  Use the cable system or Lat Pulldown Machine to increase strength in teh muscles that will be used in a pullup
Hang for time-  Talk about hanging around.... yes, this still helps to develop forearm and upper arm strength.  Keep doing this longer and longer and soon you will be able to have the grip strength to complete a pullup.
Jumping Pullups- This is similar to an assisted pullup, but you start on the ground and jump  to get your chin over the bar.  this allows you to focus on developing the range of motion necessary to complete a pullup.
Assisted pullups- Use a machine, tubing, box, legs, whatever you can to help you complete a pullup.  Anything that reduces the weight you use will help!
Half pullups- Start with the top half and work your way to a larger and larger range of motion
Negative pullups-  Jump to the top and slowly lower yourself.
All of these tools can be used to increase your upper body strength to complete the pullups.  There is also another type of pullup in which you can use a bar across a squat rack and do a reverse push-up.  Hang on to the bar above you, and pull yourself to the bar. 
Please do not hesitate to shoot an email with any other questions.  Have an amazing and empowered day!

Here is to your success!
Kevin Hughes, CSCS
(916) 470-3782


  1. Thanks for this... I really found this useful!

  2. Glad you liked it. Now I expect you to be able to do full pull ups the next time you come back here.

  3. I am trying! Really I am! It is kinda of funny though because I had a dream last night that I went to workout today and I did 5 real ones... ok I'm dreaming about CF workouts... that's scary!