Increasing Your Pullups

In Bodyweight Mastery by admin9 Comments

Increasing your pullups is a fairly common question out there in the world. How do you do it? Surprisingly it doesn’t seem like I’ve tackled this subject before.

Well the other day I received a question from Darryl as he was looking to do just that. He was planning on going to the Progressive Calisthenics Certification and had to add a few reps to meet their bodyweight exercise requirements.

So here it is, this is what I would do to increase my pullups. Also there area a few ideas on form in here as well.

The basic ideas here are to do a full range of motion in your pullups. I see too many people cut their reps short without even knowing that they’re doing that.

Chinnups are easier than pullups and can be useful as a secondary variation. I always like to switch back and forth between these two.

Finally my ideas on increasing your pullups is to simply do it by increasing the amount of volume you can do with relatively easy sets. If you go from 20 to 30 to 50 in a workout you’ll likely find your maximum repetition pullups for a single set will go up as well. This is basically a double system of progression and it works for improving pullups.

Here are two other great articles on pullups:
What is Proper Pullup Form?
How to Move Beyond the Pullup
Check this out to learn how to work your way up to that first pull-up, how to train for one-arm pull-up and ways to increase pull-up repetitions.


  1. Nice video, man! Very informative. My favorite variations that don’t favor one arm are close grip pull ups (index fingers touching), close grip chin ups (pinkies touching), and I also use wide grip pull ups. I think these variations really accentuate the actions of the standard grips. I find that keeping my legs together out in front of me with my knees locked out makes the exercise more difficult as well. Once all that gets easy, then it’s on to muscle ups, one arm negative chin ups, etc.

    1. Author

      Yep, those are some great variations Robby. Also useful to change it up in increasing the number of total reps you can do.

  2. Thanks for the video. I would love to hear your thoughts on elbow pain related to pullups.

    1. Author

      People tend to get more pain from pullups then chinnups. Some can only do the latter without pain since they seem to be less aggravating so I would stick with those. There can be many more reasons. One thing that can hurt the shoulders and elbows is just dropping instead of lowering yourself, especially with kipping pullups.

  3. Thanks Logan for the valuable tips.Looking forward to the Superhuman discs coming.D

    1. Author

      Thanks for the question on this Darryl. Hope it helps you hit your goal.

  4. I have a great app on my phone that teaches you how to increase your volume in the fashion you spoke of. It breaks it down by your goal and the time frame you want to accomplish it…say 10 in a row in 4 weeks.
    Also, my pull up bar has the neutral grip option (like doing a hammer curl) I tend to see better results from that option because I have a ruptured bicep on my left arm that I never had fixed our because I hated the recovery when I ruptured my right bicep 3 months earlier…yeah, it sucked. Chin ups don’t really work as well for me but im hoping this technique will increase my traditional pull up..any thoughts?

    1. Author

      Changing up the grip is one of the most important things to prevent pain, so stick with what works for you. They’ll all transfer to each other to a big degree.

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