Struggling to do pull-ups? Yasmin Karachiwala shares 4 ways to master it

If you find it difficult to perform pull-ups the traditional way, here are 4 alternative ways to do a pull-up as shared by celebrity fitness trainer Yasmin Karachiwala.
Pullup is a great for your overall health. Image courtesy: Adobe stock
Arushi Bidhuri Published: 12 May 2024, 04:30 pm IST

Pull-ups are a full-body exercise that involves pulling yourself up a bar. They may look easy to do when you see someone else performing it, but it isn’t exactly the easiest. It is difficult for most people to perform, but it is not impossible to learn. If you are someone struggling for that perfect pull-up, fret not! Fitness expert Yasmin Karachiwala explains how you can ace the pull-up with some simple hacks! Here’s how you can do a pull-up successfully to avoid problems.

What is a pull-up?

A pull-up is a type of strength training exercise that primarily targets the muscles in the upper body, particularly the back, arms, and shoulders. It requires pulling your body upward from a hanging position until your chin reaches the level of the pull-up bar.

Pull-up is a good upper body strength. Image courtesy: Adobe stock

What are the benefits of doing pullups?

Here are the health benefits of doing pull-ups you should know:

  • Pullups are one of the best exercises that help strengthen the back muscles.
  • You work the forearms and shoulders when you perform pull-ups, which helps strengthen your arms and shoulders.
  • Pullups also help improve grip strength, which helps you perform daily tasks such as carrying things, exercising, and more.
  • When you perform a pullup, you lift your entire body, which helps your body strength and improves overall health, according to a study published in Current Sports Medicine Reports.
  • A study published in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine found that strength training and resistance training can help improve anxiety, improve cognitive function, reduce depression risk, and improve self-esteem.

4 alternate ways to perform a pullup

Here is a step-by-step guide to a pull-up the right way, according to Yasmin Karachiwala!

Check out the video right here!

1. Inverted rows

  • Stand in front of the Smith machine and set the bar at waist height.
  • Grab the bar and lie down while looking at the ceiling. Extend your arms in a way that your body is suspended.
  • Tighten your core and glutes to keep your body in a straight line from your torso to your feet.
  • Now, pull yourself up keeping your body straight.
  • Pause for a second before going back to the initial position, with your arms fully extended.
  • You can do 3 sets of 15 repetitions.

2. Scapular pull-up

  • Grab the bar with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Ensure your body is hanging free and your arms fully extended.
  • Now, focus on pulling your shoulder blades down and back without bending your elbows.
  • Lift your chest upward toward the bar and keep your arms straight as you engage your shoulder blades.
  • Release the tension in your shoulder blades and lower your body to the starting position.
  • Do 3 sets of 15 repetitions to complete the exercise.

3. Assisted band pullup

  • Take a resistance band, secure one end of the band to the top of a pull-up bar, and loop the other end around the feet.
  • Stand directly under the pull-up bar and hold the bar slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Extend your arms fully and let your body hang freely.
  • Now, begin pulling yourself up by pulling your shoulder blades down and back.
  • Keep your core engaged while you do the exercise.
  • You should pull your chin slightly above the bar, keeping your chair lifted and your shoulder down throughout the movement.
  • Now, lower yourself to the starting position as you fully extend your arms.
  • Do the desired repetitions, maintaining control and proper form throughout the exercise.

4. Negative pull-up

  • Use a step or a small table to reach the pull-up bar where your chin is above the bar.
  • Grab the bar with an overhand grip with your arms shoulder-width apart.
  • Lower your body towards the ground in a controlled manner while you focus on engaging your muscles, especially your back and arms.
  • Lower yourself until your arms are fully extended. Avoid any sudden jerks and maintain a straight back.
  • Drop down slowly and start again by stepping on the table and repeating the movement.
  • Do as many repetitions as possible for you to do in one set. You can do 3 sets of this exercise.

Trying these ways will help you do a pullup a different way if the traditional way doesn’t work for you!


Arushi Bidhuri

Arushi Bidhuri is a journalist with 7 years of experience in writing, editing, and conceptualizing story ideas across different genres, including health and wellness, lifestyle, politics, beauty, fashion, and more. Arushi has a strong connection in the industry that helps her write concise and original stories as she believes in working towards writing pieces that can enlighten people. ...Read More

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