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3 Strategies To Improve Your Pull-up Performance

3 Strategies To Improve Your Pull-up Performance

  1. Are you capable of performing a pull-up? 
  2. How many pull-ups can you do? 
  3. Are you looking to improve your pull-up performance? 
  4. Are you lost on how to go about mastering a pull-up? 

Improving your pull-up performance is probably one of the most challenging feats of strength you can do when it comes to bodyweight training. Pulling your bodyweight from a dead hanging position from a bar with your arms fully extended requires nothing more than brute strength. You can’t hide from it, you can’t cheat it, and you can’t beat it until you just simply master it.

Pull-up Performance

When it comes to pull-ups I think it’s safe to say that this is one of the most challenging bodyweight movements for most anyone to master.

In order to perform a true form strict pull-up you must have tremendous grip, upper arm, and lat strength. Additionally this movement also requires some serious stability to prevent your body from rocking back and forth like a swing on a swing set.

That’s right, no swinging allowed! I’m not talking about a kipping pull-up. I’m talking about a strict dead hang, chest to bar, full range of motion (ROM) pull-up!

So how do you get there?

1) Static bar hold:

If you’re not yet able to pull your body up to the bar from a dead hanging position you can start by getting an assistance to pull yourself up to the bar and simply hold your body there for a designated amount of time.

This static bar hold is an isometric and in order for you to build the strength to perform a standard pull-up you’ll first have to start to learn how to hold your body in position by creating tension and force throughout your body.

The static bar hold is a great start to force you to create this tension and force throughout your body in order to hold yourself in place. So get a training partner to hoist you up, or jump off a box to elevate your body to get into the hold position.

Hold for as long as you can before lowering yourself down from the bar. Shake off the tension and do it again for as many attempts as you can before the battle fatigue becomes too overwhelming.

2)Eccentric phase:

Well another way you can improve your pull-up performance is to slow your descent from the bar in the pull-up. You can do this by pulling yourself up to the bar and then slowly lowering yourself until your arms are fully extended. Be very deliberate about this lowering portion of the movement.

You can do this effectively by counting down from 5 as you descend in the movement. This lowering phase of the pull-up is the eccentric phase (negative) of your muscles’ contraction during this particular movement.

The eccentric phase is the part of the muscular contraction that produces the most tension and this will stimulate and stress your muscle for more strength and size development.


Of course more resistance always builds more strength. All you need in order to do this is to make yourself heavier.

In order to make yourself heavier you can leverage the use of a weighted belt, or my personal preference of using a weighted vest. A weighted vest can be worn and fits close to your body so that you can transition easier into other athletic and strength movements without spending time disrupting your momentum with having to remove the vest.

The vest is functional and therefore allows you to move and perform with additional load without the load getting in your way during your training. This makes the weighted vest perfect for adding more resistance to your pull-ups to increase your pull-up performance.

Pull-up Performance: The takeaway

Pull-ups are a tremendously powerful bodyweight movement that will benefit your training in many ways. You can use pull-ups to develop real world functional strength and to get you ready for most any physical task, or sporting event.

How often do you do pull-ups? 

How many strict form pull-ups can you currently do? 

Post up and share in the comments here below! 

Also make sure you step up your training with my 30 Introductory Bodyweight Workouts! 

30 Introductory Bodyweight Exercises here

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I'm a Certified Strength And Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and author. I have had over 17 years experience in MMA fitness, strength and conditoning, and athletic performance for most every sport. As an author and specialist I've written close to a million words on fitness and strength. I'm also a Muay Thai practictioner and enjoy helping others to reach their peak potential through fitness and performance.

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