Pull-ups are an essential functional strength exercise for everyone. If you ever needed to climb over a wall or pull yourself up from danger, having the ability to do pull-ups will make those tasks much easier. That said, pull-ups are not easy, but with the right exercises, a commitment to a workout plan, you’ll increase pull-ups in no time.
After reviewing our guide to increase pull-ups, take on our 4-Week Pull-Up Workout Plan.
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How to Get Better at Pull-Ups: The Basics
The three basics to get better at pull-ups are upper body strength, grip strength, and core strength.
1. Upper body strength. This includes your lats, rhomboids, and biceps.
2. Grip strength. This includes both your hands and your forearms.
2. Core strength. This includes your abs, obliques, and glutes.
What Could Be Stopping You From Increasing Pull-Ups
In most cases, people that have issues with doing pull-ups comes down to having weak upper body strength, grip strength, and core strength. However, sometimes, it’s just one of those things, two of those things, or all three. Everyone is a little different.
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How To Get Better at Pull-Ups: The Guide
In order to increase pull-ups or be able to do your first one, it comes down to doing a combination of training that increases upper body strength, grip strength, and core strength. Our 4-Week Pull-Up Workout Plan will get you there.
The Best Exercises to Increase Pull-Ups
The following exercises are essential to increase pull-ups. Using them in the right combination will have you banging them out in no time. Here’s why:
The dead hang will strengthen your back, shoulders, arms, and grip by simply jumping up on the bar and hanging there.
The scapular pull-up or scap pull-up is the next level up from the dead hang. While you hang from the bar you pull yourself up an inch or two with the muscles surrounding your scapular.
The assisted pull-up is the same thing as a pull-up, but you get an added boost from either a machine or bands.
The inverted row is a modified pull-up. Instead of hanging from a pull-up bar and pulling up, an inverted row has you at a slightly angle and makes it easier to pull yourself up.
The side plank is an important exercise when trying to increase pull-ups because it will build core strength, specifically in your obliques which help stabilize your core when doing them.
The reverse curl is an excellent exercise for building up strength in your forearms which will translate well to pull-ups.
The hammer curl is another exercise exercise for building up strengthen in your forearms, similarly to the reverse curl but with a slightly different angle.
Machine Lat Pull-Down
A machine lat pull-down is essentially a pull-up but in reverse. You can use whatever resistance you can to build strength.
Machine Seated Row
The machine seated row is an excellent exercise for your entire back, particularly your rhomboids, which support your lats during a pull-up.
The back extension is an important exercise for building strength in your low back while moving in a different range of motion.
The farmer carry is an excellent exercise that serves double-duty when it comes to pull-ups. It will increase both your core strength and grip strength.
The dumbbell row, similarly to the seated machine row will increase strength in your rhomboids which support your lats when doing pull-ups.
The wrist curl is very similar in purpose to reverse curls and hammer curls. They will build your strength and endurance in your forearms.
Bird dogs are an excellent exercise that build core strength which will support your efforts on the pull-up bar.
Suspension Trainer Curl
The suspension trainer bicep curl is another excellent exercise that serves double-duty. It will help build strength in your biceps, forearms, and back.
Want a workout plan to increase your pull-ups, take on our 4-Week Pull-Up Workout Plan.