The Top 5 Ways To Do More Pull Ups

December 16, 2015


Pull-ups are your quickest route to a wide, V-shaped back that screams ‘I pull iron’. The trouble is that most people hit sticking points where they cease to make progress. We’ll show you five proven techniques and exercises that will help you blast through your current level and increase the number of reps you can do. Here are five proven ways to do more pull-ups… instantly.

1. Activate your Scapular Muscles

Are you unable to do a single pull-up or less than five reps? The problem is not with the strength of your arms or your lats, trust us they are strong enough.

The real reason is that you aren’t using the muscles between your shoulder blades, your scapular muscles. To train yourself to activate these muscles, simply hang from a pull-up bar and pull yourself up without bending your arms.

By using your scapular muscles to pull your torso up a few inches before slowly going back down, you will activate your scapular. Following a set of ten of these you will be able to do more pull-ups than before, guaranteed.

2. Use Isometric Training

Once you can knock out ten solid pull-ups, then what? Again, you need to strengthen your scapular muscles but this time in a more challenging position. Hold yourself at the top of the pull-up motion in an isometric position. Let your lats out so that your torso moves away from the bar.

Then squeeze your lats in so that your body is pulled closer to the bar. Repeat this five times before resting and then attempt standard pull-ups again. This technique is guaranteed to boost your rep count.

3. Use Grip Straps

As with bent-over barbell rows and deadlifts, your grip fails during a set of pull-ups before your back muscles do. With no special training or techniques, the use of grip straps gives you a way to knock out a few more pull-ups before your grip strength gives out.

Grip straps help you to blast through your sticking points and build confidence by doing longer sets. Once you have the experience of knowing you can do more pull-ups, you can try to repeat the same number of reps without the straps.

4. Assisted Pull-Ups


Buy a resistance band commonly used for stretching and tie each end of the band to opposite ends of the pull-up bar. As the band hangs down in a u-shaped loop, put one of your knees in the band.

Depending on the strength of the band, this will reduce the amount of resistance your muscles encounter during the pull-ups allowing you to perform more reps.

When you then train without the band, you will be able to do more reps than before. Some commercial products such as Taper Shaper use exactly this concept in a more refined way.

5. Negative Reps

For any novice readers out there, the positive part of a pull up is where you pull yourself up while a negative rep is the part where you lower yourself slowly. At the end of your set you may lack the strength to pull yourself up but you will still be able to perform a negative rep.

Simply jump up and slowly lower yourself to continue building strength at the end of a set. When you work out the next time, you’ll be able to do more pull-ups than before.

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