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Best Pull-Up Progression for Beginners

blog Apr 27, 2024

Best Pull-Up Progression for Beginners

Grip Angle

When progressing pull-ups, start with grip angles: neutral, supinated, and pronated grips for a balanced approach.


  • First Neutral, then Supinated, then Pronated


Begin with neutral grip for comfort, then move to supinated for biceps involvement, and pronated for a challenging variation.

Controlling the Top Portion of the Pull-Up

Focus on controlling the challenging top portion of the pull-up for increased strength and development.

Starting with Eccentrics (or Lowering)

Initiate with eccentrics – stepping up to the bar and lowering in controlled intervals – to build strength at the top position.

Adding in Dead Hangs

Enhance grip strength by incorporating dead hangs during the lowering phase.

Common Pull-Up Mistakes

  • Wide Arm Angle


Avoid pulling with arms at a wide angle; opt for a 45-degree angle for better shoulder health

  • Rounded Shoulders at the Top


Prevent rounding shoulders at the top; focus on contracting back muscles fully rather than getting chin over the bar.

Build Strength Before you Pull-Up

Strengthen accessory muscles (biceps, forearms, back) to progress pull-ups effectively.


  • Inverted Rows


Include inverted rows to mimic pull-up motion and gradually increase difficulty by elevating your feet.


  • Pulldowns, Rows, Bicep Curl


Incorporate movements like pull downs, rows, and bicep curls to build muscle and strength for pull-ups.


  • Zottman Curl


Try Zottman curls for bicep and forearm development, contributing to improved pronated grip pull-ups.

Increasing Frequency

Boost progress by increasing pull-up frequency, integrating it into your routine more often.

When to Incorporate them During your Workout

Perform pull-ups at the beginning of your workout for optimal results when muscles are fresh.

By following these steps and avoiding common mistakes, you'll create an effective pull-up progression plan for beginners. Remember, consistent practice and gradual intensity increase are key to mastering this fundamental exercise.

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