Sophie Guidolin doing pull ups

Pull Ups For Beginners

When you are a beginner, I feel this exercise is usually the one that most chickies want to smash.

It looks boss, feels boss and is great for toning your back! Here are my basics when it comes to nailing a pull up!

Firstly, a chin up is when your hand grips are underhand, which actually recruits your biceps more than your back- so a lot of gurls find these easier which is due to picking up children, groceries etc more people have some sort of strength already.

If this is you - feel free to start with chin ups, remember though to still practice pull ups- as this is a different movement and one that will help with posture, tone your back and give you the overall smaller waist taper.

Hand Placement matters- the wider your grip the more you will activate your lats. Ideally, for a pull up you want your palms just a tad wider than shoulder grip.

When performing a pull up, remember – just like driving a car- where you look you will go.

So look UP!!!! That is where you are going.
Be careful not to swing or sway your hips/legs.

Start by doing superman's or hangs - literally just learning to activate your lats - from that hanging position. This is an unusual exercise and movement to recruit these muscles, so learning to navigate this will help hugely. It may seem obvious, however the more you weigh, the stronger you will need to be to lift your body up.

GRIP! This is the key. If you try and achieve a pull up and feel your fingers giving way, this may actually mean this is a grip issue- not a strength issue. Use our lifting grips and watch this completely change your training!

Rep ranges matter, a variety between 5 x 8 and 3 x 5 matters more than continuously changing exercises.

When first starting out with pull ups, I highly suggest attempting as many reps as you can before doing any other exercise when you start your workout - even if you’re training legs or perhaps doing cardio. Yes, even if you cannot perform one rep - the idea is to get into the habit of the movement. Start by using a box, jumping up, and focusing on the negative of the exercise (the way down) do as many as you can until you are fatigued. This will only take 5 minutes of your session, but you will see HUGE progress.

If you are new to pull ups, see my blog pull ups for beginners for more basics of the movement.

If you are wanting to increase your strength overall, achieve more pull ups- then you need to get your hands on my lifting grips, as these will change the game entirely. When we don’t have the grip to hold onto the bar, this can often be the first issue for achieving a pull up- not even our lack of strength!


These are not only amazing for pull ups, but also for deadlifts,
rows, overhead press, bicep curls- pretty much every single weighted exercise.
Remember, we give up in our minds before we give up physically- most kids can perform pull ups, (obviously they weigh less!) however I love to believe this is due to the fact their brains aren’t programmed to negatively impact their ability to achieve certain movements.

Start believing and envisioning you performing these movements!

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