The pull-up may be one of the very best exercises you can do, and for that reason, it’s also one of the most challenging to master. This article will cover the bases of achieving a perfect pull-up so you can reap the many benefits pull-ups offer. It may not be easy, but the payoff will be worth every moment you ‘feel the burn.’

Don’t Lose Form

The second your back begins to dip, you lose the speed you once had or your shoulders cave in, the set is over, so don’t continue on—end the set, and start again. Often times when people continue on with a poor form and struggle through, they assume that going through the motions is more productive than stopping. However, this isn’t true. In fact, when you’re simply going through the motions with poor form, you’re not getting any stronger. It’s counter-productive. So, why endure any more than it’s worth? Go for perfect form every time—even if that means you have a shorter set because of it.

Maintain the Elbow Bend

One of the most important aspects to a powerful pull-up is a slight bend of the elbows. Before you start your set, make sure you implement this. Locked elbows can cause stress on your ligaments instead of your muscles.

Use Different Grips

It takes time to work your way up to a successful and proper pull-up, but having a variety of grips can help you achieve enough strength to lift your body up. Having a variety of grips can also help with burnout and prevent injuries. Grip with towels, ropes, Eagle loops, rings or bars. You can also rotate your grip with your palms facing you, or against you. You can widen or narrow your grip. There are many different variations, and each one offers a unique benefit.

Change Up Your Reps

Improving your pull-ups will involve both strength and endurance. Incorporate a combination of both low reps and high reps of pull-ups, as they each offer something valuable. Low reps will increase your strength (add a weighted vest or change up your grip for an added challenge). High reps will boost your endurance (use a variety of belts to move through pull-ups quickly!)

We hope these tips have helped, and that you’re inspired to challenge yourself with a pull-up workout! Mastering the pull-up takes time, but the above tips will help you to achieve what once felt impossible to do. Transform your body, one lift at a time!