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Ultimate Pull-up Video – How to Progress to Performing Pull-ups


Ultimate Pull-up Training

If you remember from one of my previous posts on big back training, you’ll know that there are several ways to modify conventional pull-ups.


Pull-up Modifications:

  • Change the Grip
    • wide, narrow, alternated, one arm
  • Change the Grip Again
    • towels, thick ropes, two fingers, three fingers, gloves, Rolling Thunder
  • Overloaded
    • dip belt, med ball, sandbag, dumbbell, kettlebell, chains
  • Change the Movement
    • side-to-side, slow negatives, isometric holds, explosive

Unfortunately before you start modifying the pull-up, you must become proficient at doing the pull-up.  This means you should be able to hit some solid volume and control your bodyweight during the exercise.

Many people can’t and that is ok.  There is always a way to train and there is always a starting point.  Pick your goal and work until you hit that goal.

Do NOT make the goal too big or too far away because you will be discouraged before reaching it.  Make small goals and hit this goal everyday or every week.  Pretty soon these small goals will get you to the end point; the larger goal.

Progression of the Pull-up

Level 1

Barbell, Dumbbell, Kettlebell, Sandbag and Cable Training – movements such rows, pull downs and face pulls can be done from multiple angles to target weaknesses, build a solid strength and joint integrity foundation and develop a solid work capacity.

Level 2

Deloading the Movement / Isolating One Phase of the Pull-up – you can target the eccentric phase,  concentric phase or mid-point (chin over the bar) with movements such as negatives and isometric holds.   You can also deload the movement with an elastic band which can be anchored to provide more or less help.

Level 3

Increasing the Difficulty of the Lift – once proficiency is developed, the movement’s difficulty can be increased.  Variations like muscle ups, modifying the grip component (see above) and performing a side to side movement can be done.

Pull-up Progressions and Movements Seen in the Video

*Movements are shown in order of increasing difficulty

  1. One Arm Lat Pulls
  2. Narrow Lat Pulls
  3. Wide Lat Pulls
  4. Seated Rows
  5. Low Cable Rows
  6. W’s
  7. DB Rows
  8. High DB Rows
  9. Full Range Straight Arm Pull-downs
  10. Barbell Bent Over Rows
  11. DB Bent Over Rows
  12. Inverted Rows – Overhand
  13. Inverted Rows – Underhand
  14. Inverted Rows – Feet Elevated – Underhand
  15. Inverted Rows – Feet Elevated – Overhand
  16. Side to Side Inverted Rows
  17. Prince Pull-ups (Game Blouses)
  18. Banded Pull-ups
  19. Less Banded Pull-ups
  20. Jump Up – Slow Negative
  21. Isometric Holds
  22. Chin-ups
  23. Pull-ups
  24. Corner Pull-ups (great for those with elbow/wrist issues)
  25. Corner Chin-ups (great for those with elbow/wrist issues)
  26. Narrow Pull-ups Version 1
  27. Narrow Pull-ups Version 2
  28. Mixed Grip Pull-ups
  29. Wide Grip Pull-ups
  30. Side to Side Pull-ups
  31. Pop Outs
  32. Grappler Pull-ups
  33. Pull-ups with Knee Raise
  34. Gorilla Ups
  35. L-sit Pull-ups
  36. Reach Ups
  37. Towel Pull-ups Version 1
  38. Towel Pull-ups Version 2
  39. Towel Chin-ups
  40. See Saw Pull-ups
  41. Revolving Thick Bar Pull-ups
  42. Revolving Thick Bar Chin-ups
  43. Climbing Pull-ups
  44. Muscle Ups

Ultimate Pull-up Video

Start with exercise one and build a strong foundation at each level.  As you progress through these exercises, you will find pull-ups will become easier and easier.

Keep me posted of your progress!


PS.  Don’t forget about AMD, it will show you how to pull it all together.  Remember the awesome upper body warm-up and the lower body warm-up videos?  These exercises fit right into AMD, the net’s ONLY

PPS.  Wanna SMASH someone?  This will help – Blunt Force Trauma

PPPS.  Attention strength coaches and personal trainers – the essential strength and conditioning reference – The Chaos Manual

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15 Responses to “Ultimate Pull-up Video – How to Progress to Performing Pull-ups”

  1. Anatoly Says:

    would I have 6 Star, I could give you all of them!
    Great exercises!
    Like usually!
    I sent them already to my followers on Twitter and friends on FB.
    All the Best!

  2. Jerry Shreck Says:

    Another great classic video that will stand the test of time! Good job smitty! I’ll pass it along!

  3. Niel Says:

    Sweet video.

    I always have trouble coming across new pulling exercises, but this was great.

  4. Jack Says:

    This is great. Copied and pasted the list of exercises, bookmarked the video. Definitely a keeper. This is gold for years to come.

  5. marty Says:

    Blouses bitch!!

  6. Jim Smith Says:

    Then he made us some pancakes.

  7. Jim Smith Says:

    Awesome, thanks Jack!

  8. Jim Smith Says:

    Thanks for watching Niel.

  9. Jim Smith Says:

    Thanks Jerry, really appreciate it bro.

  10. Peter Says:

    Thanks for posting that video. It’s excellent. It’s nice to see the exercises ranked from easiest to hardest, so you have some idea of what to work up to. I’ll pass on this post to my friends struggling with pullups.

  11. Coach mike Says:

    Now that is a Video! Great stuff!

  12. marty Says:

    I love chappelle show!alright seriously though AWESOME video as usual with solid quality information! not a bunch of rewrapped leftover garbage !MAN I LOVE YOU GUYS!! In a strictly platonic hetero way of course!!!

  13. Matt "Wiggy" Wiggins Says:

    Holy cow Smitty – I think this one post should be bookmarked by everybody as *the* definitive guide to virtually every possible pullup variation known to man.

    You know, I think that if I were to grab a copy of Websters’, and looked up the definition of “thorough”, there’d be a Diesel Crew logo there… 😉


  14. Jim Smith Says:

    Thanks Wiggy!

  15. thanh Says:

    hey i like all your variations of pull ups. so far i can do all the pull ups and chin ups u have suggested except i cant do a muscle up? it seems to just be the last range of movement that i cant do. i get my chin over the bar and push up but i dont know how u get all the way up. any ideas where u go from there?

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