Pull-ups are probably the best exercise you can do for your back, yet many people leave them out, thinking back to 5th grade PE class and all those horrors. Here are pull-ups for beginners, that will take you from negative chin-ups to your first full pull-up and beyond.
When To Do This Program
Ideally you make the following a part of my workout plans for beginners or teen beginners, because just working your back wouldn’t make a lot of sense. Given those schedules, you will be working on your back 2 – 3 times per week, which is also what you should do if you choose to not follow the rest of my routines.
No Pull-Up Bar?
If you don’t have a pull-up bar at home, that’s no problem. This article has tons of suggestions where you can do chin-ups and pull-ups.
Pull-Up Vs. Chin-Up
Now let us get some terminology out of the way.
A chin-up is when you grab the bar and your hands are facing toward you. In this position your biceps provides more assistance when doing the motion:
A pull-up is when you grab the bar and your hands are facing away from you, which mostly neutralizes the biceps:
All that being said, let’s get started. Because chin-ups are easier to do than pull-ups, we will begin with those and make them even easier: we’ll do them as negative chin-ups. “Negative” means that you only do the portion of a movement where you lower the weight, and in case of a chin-up that is your body. To do this, we’ll use a chair.
Step up on it, so that your chin is approximately at the height of the bar, grab the bar with hands facing toward you, slightly pull yourself up, hold for a second and then slowly lower yourself to the ground:
Your first workout starts with three sets of these, with six repetitions per set and between every set you take a break of one minute. On each following session, you add one more repetition to a set:
- Workout 1: 6 – 6 – 6
- Workout 2: 7 – 6 – 6
- Workout 3: 7 – 7 – 6
- Workout 4: 7 – 7 – 7
- Workout 5: 8 – 7 – 7
Full Pull-Up Test
When you reach 12 negative chin-up repetitions on all three sets, it is time to test if you are ready for a real pull-up. Without using the chair, grab the bar, hands facing away from you and try to pull yourself up.
If you are: well done! Start over with six repetitions each, doing as many real pull-ups as you can and do the rest negative, once more adding one repetition to a set per workout.
If you still can’t do a full pull-up, don’t be discouraged, you will get there! Do as you did with the chin-ups: perform three sets of negative pull-ups, each for six repetitions and add one more repetition to a set per workout. Beginning with the second of week of this, repeat the above test before you start and check if you are able to do a real pull-up. Once you are, you are ready for the step above.
If all this is still a bit unclear, here is a video: