Progressions to Pull Ups

If you are unable to perform one pull up these are the intermediate steps between Body Weight Rows and and achieving your first Pull-Up. All of these progressions should be performed with the technique described in the full pull up.

Negative Pull-Up

Stand on a platform where you can get your chest to the bar. You can use either a pull-up or chin-up grip. Step of the platform and slowly lower down. Make sure that you control the decent, don’t just drop into a dead hang. If you are struggling to control the decent keep one foot on the platform and use it as a brake to slow your decent. As your strength increases you will need to use your leg less. Once you can control the decent through the full range of motion, try pausing half way down for a few seconds then continuing to descend smoothly.


Once you have gained some proficiency at negative pull-ups, you can try chin-ups starting from a dead hang. Most beginners find a chin-up grip easier than a pull up grip. See the pull-up instructions, the only thing different will be your grip. Experiment with the hollow, hinge and arched positions. When you are able to perform three or more chin-ups move onto the Pull-Up.