A Progressive Path to Pull-Ups

No matter your fitness level, you can start building your perfect pull-up today.

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Have you ever set an intense goal for yourself? I recently had a client who wanted to get a pull-up done in just 12 days. I told her if she really wanted to make that happen, then she had to do something for that pull-up every single day. Now, that didn’t mean she had to do pull-ups every day — but she had to be working toward it.

Warrior Shred coach Angela Gargano

So we created a program in which she had to follow a bunch of drills to work her lats. Every single day. For 12 days. And guess what? She did it!

Would you like to follow along? Great! You’ll start from the bottom up:

Drill 1: How long can you hang on the bar? Because if you can’t hang, the pull-ups are going to be kind of hard, don’t you think? See whether you can get yourself to hang on the bar for at least 30 seconds. Yes, just hanging there is surprisingly hard. So just hang every day as long as you can, until you can hang for about 30 seconds.

Drill 2: Flexed arm hang. Work on engaging those lats and keeping your shoulders nice and relaxed. You can do this with an assisted band, like in my video below.

Drill 3: Eccentric pull-ups. Lower yourself down nice and slow. We aren’t going for speed here but are focused on building more strength.

Drill 4: Jump-up pull-ups. Practice jumping up to that bar. It’s going to help give you the feeling of what the actual pull-up will look like.

Drill 5: Band-assisted pull-ups. Make sure to choose a band that isn’t too easy, but it provides enough assistance so that you can do at least five pull-ups all the way up and all the way down.

Do these moves a few times a week (or every day if your goal is aggressive) and you will be on your way to a pull-up! Just remember, it takes time — but if you’re consistent, you will get it.


Are you ready to transform your workouts, crush your fitness goals and get shredded? Check out our new eight-week Warrior Shred program, which requires such minimal equipment that it can be completed entirely at home.

Designed exclusively for Oxygen— by three-time American Ninja Warrior competitor, fitness model, FAP fitness competitor, certified personal trainer and former NCAA gymnast Angela Gargano — you’ll build strength and endurance while working your way up to Warrior Week, where you will prove just how far you’ve come. Plus, you’ll be entered into a grand-prize draw for Angela’s Awesome Fitness Adventure. So what are you waiting for? Join Warrior Shred today!

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