Training The Strict Pull Up

Posted J. Miller III Fitness, Goals

The strict pull up seems so out of reach for many of us. A lot of us we learned this may not be something we will do as early as elementary school. I’m here to tell you it’s not that crazy and you can do it.  It takes some work, practice, a little time and patience,  but it is possible.

First we’re going to break it down a little bit.


Every movement has three phases a concentric, an isometric, and an eccentric. For the pull-up they look like this:

Concentric: The act of pulling your chin over the bar.
Isometric: the split second where you pause with your chin above the bar before descending into the bottom part of the pull-up.
Eccentric: The act of lowering yourself back into the dead hang position.

To become efficient in the pull-up, we need to develop all three phases of the movement.


The actual pulling portion is the hardest part of the pull-up for almost everyone. If we can’t pull our chins above the bar how can we train this part of the pull-up? Here are a few exercises that you can use:

Ring rows
Supine ring rows
Band assisted pull-ups
Jumping pull-ups


There are two ways in which we can train the isometric phase of the pull-up:

The first is to develop strength in the dead hang of the pull-up. We do so by activating our shoulders and keeping our torso in a tight hollow position.

The second is by jumping our chin over the pull-up bar and holding in that position for as long as we can. Again we want to think about bracing our core and keeping our feet squeezed together with toes pointing down to the floor.


To train the eccentric, we want to lower ourselves under control from the chin over the bar position back to the dead hang. This will be tough for most people at first so start with a 3- second descent. Once that becomes too easy, you can move on to 5 and 10 sec counts.

Interested in your very own four-week program that will lay out how to get from the dead hang to stringing together your first pull-ups?  Enter your email below for our free 4 week plan!


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