If you cannot yet do a pull up, check out Cody’s Ultimate Guide to Pull Ups for drills & exercises to get you to your first pull up.
Pull Up Bar Exercises:
- Towel Pull Ups: Wrap a towel over the bar and use the open ends as handholds for your pull ups. This will challenge your grip and stability muscles much more than just the bar.
- The Monkey: A one-armed, dead hang from the pull up bar. It’s harder than it sounds. Aim for 45 seconds per arm at first, and work up to 5 minutes.
- Front Lever Pull Up: A front lever means to hang from the bar and engage your core to lift your body parallel to the ground. A front lever pull up means to do pull ups while maintaining the front level position with your body.
Each of these exercises are performed starting from a dead hang from the pull up bar.
- Knees-to-elbows or Toes-to-bar: Keep your legs straight as you bring your knees or feet, to your face or the bar, respectively.
- Weighted straight legged lifts: Grip a weight between your feet (dumbbells work well for this) and keep your legs straight as you raise them to be parallel to the ground.
- Skin the cat: Starting from a dead hang, bring your knees up to your face & lean back to “thread” your legs through the space between your arms & the bar, then reverse the movement and return to your starting position.
- Windsheild wipers: Bring your knees/feet up to your face, with your legs straight. From here, lower your legs to the right, bring them back to the middle, then lower them to the left.