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The 3 Exercises That Will Finally Teach You How to Do a Pull-Up

Popsugar logo Popsugar 3/09/2018 Tamara Pridgett
a person standing in front of a door © POPSUGAR Photography / Tamara Pridgett

Pull-ups are one of those exercises that leave you feeling like a total badass once you've mastered them. They're also one of those exercises that will leave your upper body feeling extremely sore, but in a good way. When done correctly and consistently, they'll improve your upper-body strength as they work your latissimus dorsi, the long head of your triceps, and your pectoralis major.

If you're reading this and saying to yourself, "That's great, but I can't do a pull-up," stop right there. If you're a beginner, or you just want to be able to do more pull-ups without stopping, we've got you covered. The three pull-up progressions ahead will have you on your way to doing pull-ups without assistance in no time. Continue reading to learn how to perform each one.

Bent-Knee TRX Assisted Pull-Up

  • Start with the TRX straps overshortened, as high as they can go.
  • Grab the handles, and make sure your hands are directly over your shoulders and hips. Your spine should be straight, and your feet should be flat on the ground.
  • Pull yourself up as high as you can, and then lower back down to the starting position.
  • This counts as one rep. Complete three sets of 10 reps.

Banded Assisted Pull-Up

  • Place a large resistance band securely around a pull-up bar. A band with more resistance will provide you with more assistance/momentum to pull yourself up.
  • Stand on a stable object (a bench will work), and grip the pull-up bar. With one hand, place the band around the arch of your shoe. Fully extend the banded leg.
  • With a neutral spine and your abs engaged, pull yourself up. The band will provide you with momentum to lift your body up. Lower back down to the starting position.
  • This counts as one rep. Complete three sets of eight reps.

Extended-Legs Assisted Pull-Up

  • Start with the TRX straps overshortened, as high as they can go.
  • Grab the handles, and make sure your hands are over your shoulders and hips. Your spine should be straight, and your legs should be fully extended.
  • Pull yourself up as high as you can, and then lower back down to the starting position.
  • This counts as one rep. Complete three sets of five reps.

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