How to Do a Proper Pull-up & Chin-up, Step By Step.

Pull-ups are one of the best exercises, if you can learn to do them correctly!

So you want to do a pull-up, eh?

When many people think of fitness and the gym, they picture meatheads doing countless arm curls, staring at themselves in the mirror.

Sounds about right to me, and that makes me sad.

What’s truly unfortunate is that I very rarely see people in my gym doing deadlifts or proper squats, and I’ve probably only seen a handful of people (in a year and a half) doing legitimate pull-ups.

As far as I’m concerned, if you’re not doing deadlifts, squats (going all the way down to parallel!), and pull-ups and you want to “build muscle,” you’re leaving behind a TON of progress and gains.

We want to avoid that.

And you’re reading this article, which means you want to avoid that too! I knew you were smart.

If you’re afraid of making a mistake when it comes to doing pull-ups incorrectly, or you can’t quite do one yet but want to learn how, we’ve created a resource for ya: Strength Training 101: Everything You Need to Know – this guide will help you scale pull-ups til you can do them, get started in a gym, and how to train at home if you don’t have a gym!

You can download our massive strength training guide for free when you sign up in the box below:

HOw to Do Proper PulL-Ups


  1. Grab a bar with a grip slightly wider than shoulder width, with your hands facing away from you.
  2. Hang all the way down.
  3. Pull yourself up until your chin is above the bar.
  4. Slight pause
  5. Lower yourself all the way back down.

Once you can do a single pull up, work on doing them in sets.

  • Do one pull up, then wait a minute or two and do another one.
  • Then wait a few more minutes and do another one.

If you can’t do a pull-up yet, then our “how to get your first pull up” guide is a must read.

If you have a gym membership there will be pull-up bars all over the place.

In your house, you might have “the perfect pull-up” in your doorway. I use a door-frame pull-up bar in our advanced bodyweight workout:

If you have neither of these things, find a local playground and use their monkey bars (check out our playground workout!)

This is one piece of equipment that NEEDS to be in your arsenal, so find a way to get one.

No excuses, play like a champion.

Oh, and to answer your next question:

  • A PULL UP is when your hands are facing away from you. This will work your back and biceps.
  • A CHIN UP is when your hands are facing towards you. Although this also works your back, it has more emphasis on your biceps.

A few days later, try to do two in a row, and do a few sets of two.

You need to start somewhere, but as soon as you can do one, you can find a way to do two.

After that, find a way to do three, and so on. Remember, don’t cheat yourself by only going halfway down and not going all the way up. Straighten your arms out at the bottom, and get your chin over the bar!

Want big biceps? Do close-grip chin ups.

I guarantee if you’re banging out 3 sets of 12 at the gym, maybe even hanging some weight around your waist, your arms will be built like cannons and you might need to have them legally declared.

If you’re interested in doing more pull-ups (or getting your first!), and you are looking for some free routines to follow, check out our free resource, Strength Training 101: Everything You Need to Know:

Appearance is a consequence of fitness

When preparing for their roles in the movie 300, all the actors from the film went to train with Mark Twight.

He had them train by emphasizing “athleticism by combining compound movements, lifting, and throwing.

Primitive tools – medicine balls, Kettlebells, rings – were used instead of machines. Each session was competitive, with a penalty-reward system tied to performance and results posted daily for all to see.”

That’s right, these guys weren’t training to have bulging biceps and chiseled abs.

Their motto, “appearance is a consequence of fitness,” meant that these guys worked on getting in the best shape possible:

  • Deadlifts
  • Running sprints
  • Olympic ring push ups
  • Pull-ups

And then doing it all over again.

This type of training really struck a chord with me, because I’ve always been fascinated with turning myself into an absolute machine; if I happen to look good as a side effect, awesome.

There’s a reason you need to do 50 pull-ups to complete the 300 challenge: only the fitness elite can attempt such a thing.

Remember, appearance is a consequence of fitness. 

Pull-ups are a true test to somebody’s level of fitness, so where do you fit in?


PS: If you’re trying to get your first pull-up and you haven’t been successful yet, have you met Christina? 

We’ve helped men and women start lifting themselves up with our 1-on-1 Online Coaching Program, and we’d love to see if we can help you too!

You can schedule a free call with our team by clicking on the image below:

Christina learned to do pull-ups with NF Coaching

Get The Rebel Starter Kit

Enter your email and we’ll send it right over.

  • The 15 mistakes you don’t want to make.
  • The most effective diet and why it works.
  • Complete your first workout today, no gym required.
  • These are the tools you need to start your quest.