The pull-up bar has been a staple in fitness gyms since the early 1900s. It’s a great way to start your workout, but if you’re looking to take things to the next level, the pull-up bar can also be used to improve your pull-ups and add new exercises to your workout program.
To exercise more – and get stronger – you need to increase your training volume. That means you have to lift more weight. So, if you’re a novice, you should start by doing 1-2 sets of 3-5 reps. If you’re advanced, you can add in some weight with your reps to increase the weight you’re lifting.
If you’ve got a pull-up bar at home, you probably know how to do a few pull-ups – maybe even a few sets of varying rep counts. But have you considered expanding your pull-up repertoire? The pull-up is the king of all upper-body strength exercises (and they’re a great way to really work your way from the bottom up), and once you know how to do a basic pull-up, you can advance to slinging your arms through an endless series of variations.In today’s article, we’re going to talk about how to do your first pull-up, or multiple pull-ups if you already know how to do them. I’ll also show you how to make your own pull-up bar to train at home.
Pull-ups are one of my favorite exercises. What makes them one of my favorites is that they can be made in creative places. On a door, on a tree, or traditionally on a pull-up bar.
Again, there are many variations.
- Pull up: This is an easier exercise for most people to do with the palms facing you.
- Pull up: For me, it’s the traditional way of palms away from you.
- Kipping pull-ups: Crossfit is the best known. This will allow you to increase the number of reps and increase your endurance. Don’t overdo it or you won’t be able to massage your back the next day.
- Butterfly: Another Crossfit style pull-up designed to increase speed while you work for time.
- Pull up: A combination of pull-ups and lunges. Rather, it is an advanced movement that requires mastery of techniques and skills.
So let’s move on to how to make a pull-up bar with your own hands and do more pull-ups.
PULL-UPS WORK MANY MUSCLES
Pull-ups offer a serious return on exercise. They work the large muscles of the upper back, require muscle strength – and work the biceps, shoulders and forearms.
However, they can be one of the most difficult exercises to perform. And that’s the reason for writing this post.
You will learn to work on pull-ups with little time, equipment and a limited attention span. You’ll also learn how to make a homemade pull-up bar, how to do your first pull-up, or how to improve it if you’ve already mastered it.
How to make a homemade pull-up bar?
There are many ways to make your own pull-up bar. Some of you may want to buy one to put by the front door. But I like having more space and I like training outside. Here’s how I made a DIY pull-up bar that meets my requirements.
- Total cost : $40-50
- Time: 30-45 minutes
Step 1: Survey of your area
Walk around the house and look around your property. Where would be a good place for a pull-up bar? The garage is a good choice.
I chose a shelter in the garden, one meter above the ground. To reach the bar for pull-ups, you need to jump, use a chair or a tray. This gives you enough room to bend over when doing pull-ups.
Step 2: Buy do-it-yourself traction equipment
Here’s what you need to make a homemade pull-up bar.
- One meter of 1 inch pipe with a black nipple.
- Two (2) extensions of 4 pipes. Usually in the same aisle as the 4 foot pipe.
- Two (2) black elbows 1 for pipe connection. Again, it’s in the same section.
- Two (2) 1 flanges
- Eight (8) 1/4 hex screws.
- Eight (8) 1/4 inch hex nuts.
- Eight lock washers
1. 4 feet by 1 inch black nipple tube. Generally found in the bathroom department.
2. Two (2) 4-pipe extensions. Normally in the same aisle as the 4-foot lead.
3. Two (2) black elbows 1 for pipe connection. Occurs again in the same section.
4. Two (2) 1-flanges (I love that word).
5. 1/4 inch hexagon head screw.
You will probably need eight of these to fit each flange hole. Make sure the screws are long enough to go through the wood, concrete or other material you are going to hang the pull-up bar from.
6. 1/4 inch hex nuts. Eight, for each hexagonal bolt
7. 8 Lock washers
They are used between the hexagonal screw and the hexagonal nut. Not necessarily, but it gives strength.
You will also need a drill and a 1/4 inch drill bit long enough to go all the way through the object you are hanging the tie rod from.
The total cost should not exceed $50. Cheaper than the traction devices you find at Rogue, Turntable Stud or other stores.
How to assemble a DIY pull-up bar
Step 1: Layout of all your materials.
Take a 4 foot nipple tube and attach two (2) elbows to each end. Make sure they are screwed down tightly enough.
Step 2: Take a 4 foot pipe with attached elbows and turn the 4 inch extensions.
These extensions fit all elbows.
Step 3: Take two (2) flanges and screw them onto each extension.
Now you should be ready to install this canopy. Only eight (8) holes need to be drilled for the flanges and hex bolts. Be sure to mark the drilling location by taking the DIY pull rod and placing it at the mounting location. Then take a sharp pencil and mark the places where you are going to drill.
Take a drill and a long 1/4 inch drill bit and drill right through the wood. Then screw the hex bolts through the flanges and wood and attach the hex nuts to the back to secure the drawbar. Continue in this manner for the eight (8) holes.
How to do your first pull-up. or better pull-ups
Now you have a pull-up rack and it’s in your house. There’s no excuse for not taking notes during commercial breaks, right after you wake up or while having fun on Facebook.
I divided the pull-ups into four levels. Determine what level you are at and apply some of these tips. The good thing about these teams is that there is a way out, and it doesn’t involve death. All you need to do is more pull-ups.
Some interesting benchmarks to look at first
To make it a little more fun, I decided to give you some interesting benchmarks to aim for. This is a great way to measure your progress as you use the DIY pull-up and work on developing your pulling power.
Barbell pull-ups are suitable for all fitness levels, improve grip strength, shoulder mobility and relieve strain on the spine. All of this is important for the transition to pull-ups.
Objective: 2-3 sets of 30-60 second suspension.
Pulling up on shoulder blades
The scapula pull is the first movement of the pull-ups, so it makes sense to train it. From the hanging position, pull the shoulders straight down and hold them at the highest point for 2 to 3 seconds.
Objective: 2-3 sets of 8-10 reps
Reverse pull-ups perfectly mimic the pulling motion with body weight. Going from a larger angle to a smaller angle is a great way to progress in bodyweight pull-ups.
Objective: 2-3 sets of 10 reps
Kin to bar
Barbell pull-ups are a great way to improve your grip, shoulder blades, lats and shoulder strength. It’s also a good way to get tension into your pulling muscles. The greater the tension, the greater the stimulus to the muscle fibers.
Goal: 2-3 sets of 10-20 seconds each.
Tape assisted pull-ups
Want to do more pull-ups? Well, it makes sense to do more pull-ups, and band pull-ups are ideal.
Goal: 2-3 sets of 10 reps (use all thinner bands)
Negative pull tabs
The best way to get better at pull-ups is to do more pull-ups. But you may not have the strength to pull your chin over the bar. You can solve this problem with negative traction.
Start with a bent-arm suspension with your chin above the bar and transition to a straight-arm/bar suspension with your head below the bar.
Level 1: I can’t get up
If you don’t know how to do pull-ups, start with basic strength exercises for pull-ups.
Exercises like one-handed rows and reverse rows also help strengthen the upper back. Try to incorporate these exercises into your workout during the week.
- Monday: Single arm rows, 3-4 sets x 8 reps hard, so pick a weight that is very challenging.
- Wednesday: Reverse rows, 3-4 sets x AMRAP (as many reps as possible).
- Friday: Single arm rows, 3-4 sets x 8 compound reps
Then on Monday, start with reverse rows and follow the same pattern. Try to set yourself a new challenge each week. If inverted rows are too difficult, you can bend your knees instead of keeping them straight. This will reduce some of the weight you use when pulling the bar. You can also increase or decrease the angle to increase or decrease the difficulty.
For each repetition, try to touch the barbell with your chest, or at least get as close to it as possible. Imagine someone behind you trying to steal from you, and you want to elbow him in the stomach as hard as you can. This forces you to bring your elbows behind your back. When you lower yourself, try to take 2-3 seconds to fully extend your arms.
If you don’t have a Smith trainer at the gym, do reverse rows. Use a table at home, the cargo area of your truck, or extend a 1-tube like the one we used for the DIY twisting tube. Slide it over two chairs and you get a good fit.
I can already do 1 to 5 pull-ups
So you can do pull-ups and even 2 or 3 pull-ups in a row.
Maybe you can even do 5 strict exercises in a row. But that’s not enough for you. They want more. Cool, I’ll cover you.
You just need to develop your strength. This can be done in two ways.
If you can already do 1-5 pull-ups, with the fifth being quite difficult, you can add a few pull-ups with a partner holding your legs (I used a box) or a resistance band.
Here is an example of a workout you can do on back day and pull-ups.
- Pull-ups, 4-5 sets of 1-5 reps (alone). After each set, take a resistance band and perform 5-10 more reps.
Use a band with enough resistance so you can do 5-10 more reps. I like the strips of ironwood here (unaffiliated link).
30 pull-ups per day Task
Another option is a technique I learned from weight coach Charles Poliquin.
A few years ago I visited the Poliquin Institute, and improving pull-ups was one of the topics discussed. They found that at least 30 rigorous repetitions per workout are needed to achieve significant results in pulling power. The idea is to do at least 30 strict (unassisted) pull-ups per workout.
- Complex 1: 6 pull-ups
- Complex 2: 3 pull-ups
- Set 3: 3 pull-ups
- Set 4: 3 pull-ups
- Set 5: 2 pull-ups
At this point, you’ve done 17 pull-ups. Continue until you have completed a total of 30 reps. It may cost you 10 rounds or more, but that’s the way it is. The idea is to do at least 30 reps. Try not to rest more than 3 minutes between each attempt.
I can do 5-10 pull-ups
If you want to make the exercise a little more challenging, you can add weighted pull-ups. You can do this with a weight vest, a hanging belt (find a cheap one on eBay) or a regular curve belt.
Another way to challenge yourself, improve your form and increase your strength is to focus on rhythm. Try to do a pull-up in 3-4 seconds. Pause at the lowest point with your arms fully extended for 1 second. Come up from this position and pause for a second, keeping your chin above the bar.
Can you get thin with a DIY chin-up bar?
Pull-ups and strength training can help you get in shape. But to achieve the elevated look, you need to have a low enough body fat percentage to get the elevated look.
This is achieved by creating an energy deficit (taking in less calories than your body needs) by dieting for an extended period of time.
Which exercise replaces pull-ups?
The vertical movements of pull-ups are more like chin-ups than anything else. But every exercise involving the back works the same muscles.
- Do pull-ups on your feet with a fitness machine or resistance band.
- Pull-ups with an exercise aid, dumbbells, barbells or resistance bands.
What can I use if I don’t have a pull-up bar?
If you don’t have a pull-up bar at home, there are several alternatives. Of course, exercises with dumbbells, weights and barbells are best. But here are some less common alternatives if you don’t have the necessary equipment.
How to do pull-ups at home without a chair
I made a 4 minute video for you on YouTube (sorry for the quality, but it’s good enough). In the video, I talk about the following exercises.
- Rows of doors
- Square brackets
- Isometric Towel Pull-ups
- towel assortment
No devices today. Master lift tomorrow
In one day, you went from doing zero pull-ups to doing your own and dominating them.
Finally, if you do pull-ups, make sure you do them correctly. If your chin does not reach the bar and your arms are not fully extended at the end of the movement, it is not a pull-up. Be legal.
Are you a pull-up master and want to try an awesome pull-up workout? Let me know or send me a video of you doing crazy pull-ups.
PhotoPull-up bars are a great exercise for your back, abs and arms. They are also great to use to rehab a pulled muscle or to prevent a pulled muscle from re-occurring. I just bought a #10 1/2″ round drive socket set and have been drilling holes in it to mount my pull-up bar.. Read more about towel pull-ups and let us know what you think.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I train myself to do more pull ups?
Pull ups are a great way to strengthen your core and back. They also help you develop upper body strength. One of the best ways to do more pull-ups is to do them at the gym. It’s a lot easier to do pull-ups at the gym than at home, which is exactly what I did with this video. I have always been a fan of doing pull ups on a bar, and it has been my go to exercise for a while now. However, there are times when I just don’t have the time to do them, or when another exercise is more appealing. For example, I need to check my email, and I don’t want to do pull ups in my underwear.
How do I make my pull up bar higher?
Congratulations! Your goal of getting stronger is clear, and you’ve set up your pull-up bar in your home. There’s only one thing missing: the actual workout! That’s why we’re here–to show you how to make the bar as high as possible, and give you tips for making the most of your pull-ups. With a pull-up bar at home, you can level up your pull-up game. If your pull-up bar is too low, it’s tough to do pull-ups with proper form. If your bar is too high, it can be tough to do pull-ups with your hands on the bar. The answer is in between. Just keep adding cross bars, and your pull-ups will get easier and easier.
How do you do more than one pull up?
For those just starting out on the exercise journey, the pull up is a great starting point. With a pull up bar clamped to a door or a doorway, you can quickly get your body into a position to do some pull ups. Pull-ups are a pull up bar and weight that go together and allow you to do pull-ups. The pull-up bar is used to hold on to and to do pull-ups. There are different types of pull-ups. The most common pull up is the One Arm Pull Up. The One Arm Pull Up is a pull-up exercise where you grab a bar with one arm. The pull-up bar is used to hold on to and to do pull-ups. How do you do more than one pull up? I’ve done it numerous times. I can do 5 pull-ups no problem, then do a few sets of 4 and 6 pull-ups. I love pull ups and have made a goal to do at least 100 pull ups a day. It’s a struggle, but I am getting closer!
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