5 Exercises to Help You Do Full Pull-Ups

If you're wondering how you can do full pull-ups, we've gathered detailed exercise ideas to help you do just that.
5 Exercises to Help You Do Full Pull-Ups

Last update: 12 July, 2018

If there is a body weight exercise that stands out from the others, it is definitely the pull-up. This exercise gives many benefits and are very intense for athletes. Still, it is not easy to learn how to do full pull-ups. We will show you a few exercises that can help you do them.

Since they require a lot of strength, doing full pull-ups can seem impossible for many at the gym. And we are not only referring to women; a lot of men cannot seem to be able to do them.

As with many things, you can learn to do them little by little. As children, no one got on a bike and rode off to compete in mountain biking the same day. The same thing applies to full pull-ups; they require time and effort.

Five exercises to help you do full pull-ups

man and woman doing pull-ups at the gym

Women may have a harder time gaining this ability. There are two reasons for this: first, men simply tend to have more muscular strength and power.

The second reason is related to body fat. While for men, fat accumulates in their upper body, for women it goes to the mid-lower part of their body. Consequently, body fat impacts this type of exercise. However, both can benefit from the following exercises to be able to do full pull-ups.

1.- Basic core-strengthening exercises

Even though pull-ups are intense for your torso and arms, you should also strengthen your core in order to be able to do them better. This involves targeting your abs and lower back.

How can you do that? It is simple; take a look at these exercises:

  • Kneel in front of a medicine ball and rest your elbows on it. Then, keeping your back straight and abs raised, fully extend the arms with the help of the ball. Bring it back to your abdomen and repeat at least 10 times per set.
  • Do this same exercise but in a push-up position instead of kneeling. It is very important that you keep your back straight.
  • Again, get in a push-up position but with your feet on the ball. The exercise involves bending and extending the arms and back.

2.- Pull-ups with your feet on the ground

Find a bar that is not too far from the ground. This is so you can hold onto it and, with your legs extended and your back straight, bring your body closer to the bar. This will help you gain strength and endurance in your back muscles.

3.- Negative pull-ups using your feet

Another great way to try full pull-ups, is by using the momentum from a jump. First, place yourself under a horizontal bar.  Next, jump up and grab the bar, using the momentum to do a pull-up.

The negative part of the exercise involves lowering yourself down as slowly as possible. This way, you will increase your strength and gain dexterity to perform the exercise.

4.- Resistance band pull-ups

You are getting closer to doing “real” pull-ups. Place an elastic band on the sole of your foot or on your knee, with the other end attached to the bar. The band will help you when the time comes to lower yourself. Little by little, you will gain the technique and strength needed to do full pull-ups.

5.- Isometric pull-ups

One key part of doing pull-ups is to build up strength and adapt your muscles to meet the effort they require. Therefore, the last exercise involves holding onto the bar and doing a pull-up. Once you have gone over the bar, hold the position for 5 to 20 seconds.

woman doing full pull-ups with band

The time you hold it should increase as you go along. You should always do two or three sets per workout session, to avoid overwhelming your muscles.

Things to consider about pull-ups

As mentioned, pull-ups help strengthen your back, chest, shoulders, arms, and core. They can be performed with supinated or pronated grips. In other words, with the palm of your hand pointing towards the body or forward, respectively.

In addition, it is important to note that the goal is to get your chin above the bar. Not reaching that height means that you are doing it incorrectly.

These exercises will help you to do full pull-ups in a matter of weeks. Patience and dedication are the keys to success. Still, it is good to have someone to help, correct, and encourage you when things do not go as planned. You can do it!

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.