How To Do More Chin Ups And Pull Ups

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There’s times in my life that I’m so thankful for being a college athlete. Not that it makes me super cool or anything but playing sports at a high level taught me a lot of intangibles that still help me to change my body every day. Sure you can talk about the work ethic and drive but a big piece to the puzzle was that I had to learn to focus on one specific aspect of my game to improve my all around game.  So how does that relate to a article about how to do more chin-ups and pull-ups?

I remember one summer where all I wanted to do was improve my free throws. So I made extra time each day and devoted it just to improving my free throws. Did it work? Well I shot a all-time personal best of 90% from the free throw line for the entire year. Like a free throw, chin-ups and pull-ups are just something that people don’t seem to be able to improve. It really comes down to two reasons.


They either

-Don’t do them or give up too quick


-They don’t focus on improving them

As simple and as “OMG you didn’t know that” as it may seem, most people, that want to, never focus on improving their chin-ups. So you’ve heard about all the benefits of doing chin-ups and pull-ups. You know that they’ll give you improve muscle definition and size in your arms and back, as well as work your abs but you just can’t seem to do more than one or two.

Next time you’re in the gym try these intensity techniques to increase your pull-ups quickly


-Do one more rep than you did last week.

I know a few people that start one or two of their workouts each week just by trying to do one or two more reps than they did the week before. Good method but there’s better.

-Perform partial reps

Even if you can do only one chin-up or pull-up. Get up there and do it. Now on the way down, stop half way or a quarter of the way and pull yourself back up to the top. This will help to overcome a sticking point in the movement as well as increase your strength over about 10-15% of the range of motion.

-Use slow negatives

This works better if you have a training partner that can help you go back up but even if you train alone you should be using slow negatives. Say you can get about 4 to 6 reps. Slow your negative portion of the movement (when you go down)for a count of 3 going down. You’ll activate more muscle to stabilize and lower your body than you would if you had just let your body fall down. If you have a training partner, have them spot you and force you back up when you can’t pull yourself up.

– Use 1.5 reps.

Other wise known as one and a halves. It sounds just like it is. You perform one full rep then pull yourself up for a half of the second rep then you start over. Why does this work? For starters you end up overcoming the sticking point on the bottom of the movement that always seem to hamper your results but you also get more total chin-up or pull-up work in.

-Start a few other workouts during the week with chin-up and pull-ups.

As simple as it sounds, if you train individual bodypart then start one or two other workout with a few sets of chin-ups. If you train using a full body workout then make sure you wait at least one full workout to attempt a few more sets.

-Cheat a little bit

While I never advocate horrible form on anything (*cough crossfit and any other place that use knip-ups as chin-ups cough *), there are times, such as when you want to improve a lift, where slight cheating can go a long way. How do you do it in a chin-up or pull-up? Just slightly kick your legs up. Don’t do one of these long winded soccer kicks, just a little kick will go a long way.

chin-ups-and-pull-ups2(Don’t Do It This Way)

There you have it, your step-by-step blueprint for doing more chin-ups and pull-ups and improving your back, arms and abs.

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Leave A Reply (3 comments so far)

  1. prakash balaji
    9 years ago

    Hi Smith, nice post
    Please tell me that can i follow this procedure for my weight gain program ? Im now 52KG and i want to increase my weight upto 65KG. will this workout help with a persistent approach ?
    is this for weight gain or weight loss?
    today im doing my shoulder and back workout so it would be appreciative if you can reply me sooner 🙂
    Thanks a lot.
    keep up the good work.

  2. admin
    9 years ago

    The biggest thing you need is to understand how many calories that you’re eating. Have you checked out my nutrition elite software found at

  3. asian kid
    8 years ago

    Im 35 kilos and i can only do 7 chinups:(

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