Pullups are a massively popular exercise and I’ve lost count of the amount of clients that have a ‘sub goal’ of being able to do bodyweight pullups on their own.


If you can master pullups, you will undoubtedly fast track the growth of your lats and rear delts, as well as hugely boost your upper body strength.


Pullups Tip #1: Negatives

The first and in my opinion – most effective way to get better at pullups is to master the eccentric phase of the rep, or the ‘negative’ phase. Essentially in this context, this just means you need to get better at the way down of the rep, or lowering yourself.


We are always stronger at the negative phase of a rep than we are the positive phase. Think about another exercise for a second, the bench press. Now, if I was to load 200kg on a bench press I’d be really good at lowering the weight, but there isn’t a snowball’s chance in hell of me pressing it back up again. So clearly, we’re much stronger on the lowering phase than we are at the lifting phase.


That might have seemed like an odd example, but the same is true with pullups. If you can’t yet pull yourself up to the bar, the best way to increase your strength is to really slowly lower yourself down. Think about ‘fighting’ the movement on the way down and trying to hold yourself up as long as possible. Perform multiple sets of these ‘negative’ pullups each time you’re in the gym and eventually, you’ll be able to perform conventional pullups.


Pullups Tip #2: Accommodative Resistance

The next way to get better at pullups is to take advantage of something known as accommodative resistance. Essentially this is just referring to having some kind of assistance on the way up of the movement, we’ll do this by attaching a resistance band to the pullup bar.


As shown in the video, you’ll need to step into the band with one foot and make sure you’re stable (use a box or bench to make it easier for yourself).


Then perform pullups as you normally would, but do the way up this time as well – the assistance from the band should be enough to help you get to the top.


An alternative to this would be using an assisted pullups machine, but personally I prefer the way the band adds more assistance at the bottom and drops off the assistance as you reach the top.



I hope this article and video have been useful to you. Any questions you have please drop me a comment or message and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.


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