Can anyone suggest how I can increase my Pullups?

Forums Fitness training Can anyone suggest how I can increase my Pullups?

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    Can anyone suggest any other exercises that will help in increasing my pullup performance. I am very comfortable moving up levels for pushups and squats.

    Should I not move up levels until I meet the pullup requirement?


    spicy0853 wrote:

    Can anyone suggest any other exercises that will help in increasing my pullup performance. I am very comfortable moving up levels for pushups and squats.

    I’m new here, so I may be way off base.

    I can’t do a full pull up. So I’ve been doing “Negative” pull ups and jumping pull ups. I alternate between chin up grip and pull up grip.

    A Negative pull up is when you get a chair and have the bar at chin level, then lower yourself down as slow as possible. I did this last week and I can tell I am a little stronger from it.

    This week, I have been doing jumping pushups. Basically, you just jump and pull as much as you can, then I lower as slow as I can.

    Body rows are another popular thing, but I haven’t tried those yet.

    You can also get bands to help you, but I haven’t had a need for those yet.

    spicy0853 wrote:

    Should I not move up levels until I meet the pullup requirement?

    I’ve seen two different opinions on this. I think it’s Volleyball man who did level one until he could complete the pull ups. I think I’m going to go this route.

    Others just do what they can and substitute body rows, negatives, jumping, etc. for what pull ups they can’t do.

    But, like I said, I’m new here, so my opinion may not be 100% correct.


    Yep – that’s me.

    I chose to wait because I didn’t want to make moving up my primary goal. I wanted to get proper pullup form. I want to keep that attitude when it comes time to move into the crossfit workouts. I have to fight the tendency to rush, so this works well for me.

    I saw the most progress from doing bodyrows. I used them when I leveled up as well. If I get to where I am not out of wind, but can’t do a pullup, I do bodyrows.

    Look through the threads for GTG or Grease The Groove once you get a couple of pullups in a row.

    Good luck and use all this to make your own decision.


    I’m with vbm (mostly) body rows seem to be the way to go, although negatives aren’t useless. The key to negatives I think is concentrating on proper form, and doing them super slow (or as slow as you are able to)

    As for the moving up. I haven’t moved up, but I’ve experimented with variants of the other exercises to make them more challenging, i.e. knuckle push ups and weighted squats.



    I went the other route – I went up to level 2 even though I was doing body row subs and still can’t do proper pullups.

    For me I thought the extra volume would do me good – after all its not very much time spent exercising (day 2 and 3 usually between 5-10 minutes) so I thought once you get below 5 on day 3 with whatever sub you’re doing its worth going up.

    I agree the body rows seem to be the best, the angle is adjustable to make them more difficult and they’ve worked well for me. I think it’s a good idea to decide on something and stick to it since it makes progress comparisons easier. I found the trouble with jumping, negatives etc. is that there is not very much consistency and its easier to do more or less work depending on how you’re feeling. I think for this type of metabolic conditioning training it should be an exercise you can do easily without going to failure for the workout. At the moment I’m not worrying about it too much – I’m seeing progress and I’m sure I’m getting stronger so the pull-ups will come. I do partials and occasional negatives after the workouts and on the off days as a kind of grease-the-groove thing.

    Also I think negatives are good, but they put a lot of strain on your system I think and take longer to recover from so should probably be used with caution…

    Here is a link on a grease-the-groove type method for increasing pullups….” class=”bbcode_url”>


    I agree with taifun (always as he’s my hero 😉 ).

    Seriously – I would consider adding other variations to your current level.

    I got through level one and could blast out the pushups with no problem at all. Since I’ve moved up to level 2, I have a hard time completing (and sometimes don’t) a stretch of pushups in a row as high as those in L1. My analysis: The increased workload of the additional pullups is making my body balance to accommodate. I get frustrated by this, but I know it’s better in the long run. If all I wanted to do was a trillion pushups, then I wouldn’t do pullups and squats at all…


    When I can’t do the pullups, I lightly rest my feet on a chair or stool to take some of the weight off but to keep the same motion. If you catch yourself cheating try just placing your big toes on the chair or put the chair behind you and place the tops of your feet on it.



    Probably a bunch of different things you can do to increase pull ups. Greasing the Groove is a good one.

    This article is one of many that explains it pretty well:

    As a matter of fact there are several articles on dragondoor that can help.

    I would strongly recommend going to and look at all their stuff on pullups. Work on form and function and before you know it you will be doing more pullups.

    They have a recommendation to do Jumping pullups where essentially you jump to the bar and bring yourself down slow.

    But mostly there isn’t but one way to get better. Thats to do them.

    When I was in the Marine Corps many years ago we regularly did pullups and I did em in the upper 15-20’s.

    When I started Simplefit I was barely doing two. Now I’m sure I could get 10 with difficulty. The way I see it 20 is too easy. I wanna do 50 without blinkin!

    Keep your goals high and add little goals to get there and you’ll make it. Above all, don’t ever stop trying. Good luck!


    Well said!


    I find it much easier to do pull-ups (assuming you can do 2+) when I alternate lifting my head in-front and behind the bar (with my hands in the same position). I guess it just uses slightly different muscles or something but I can get almost twice as many when I do it that way… strangely I can throw in a set of chin-ups straight after and barely notice them.

    I don’t know what that means, or if it will transfer to you, but I guess you could try it…

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