They're pretty incredible, but it’s time for a quick reality check. Truthfully, achieving your first pullup or chin up is hard and time-consuming–it can take anywhere from two weeks to two months, says Gargano. It all depends on where you start from fitness wise, and how much time and effort you dedicate to gliding over that bar.
It’s totally worth hanging in there. “After thinking it’s never going to happen, one morning you’ll wake up and discover you can finally do it,” says Gargano. “That feeling is empowering, liberating, and confidence-building.”
So if you’re ready to join the movement, step—er, pull—right up.
These key moves will help you work your way to a full pullup or chin up. (Put them together with the doable, all-levels training plan below, programmed by Gargano.)
Grip bar with arms straight and palms facing forward, hands just outside shoulders, body fully relaxed. Hang as long as possible (i.e., your max)—ideally, at least 30 seconds.
From a passive hang, engage lats and shoulders to draw tops of arms slightly down and away from ears, keeping arms straight and shoulder blades wide. Hold at least 30 seconds.
From a passive hang, engage lats to roll shoulder blades back and down, raising body toward bar. (It’s a small movement!) Return to start and repeat. Keep body straight while elevating/lowering.
Flexed Arm Hang Series
From a passive hang, lift body a quarter of the way up to bar and hold for 30 seconds. On second attempt, go halfway up. The third time, try to get chin above bar.
Start at the top of the pullup motion (jump or use step), then lower body as slowly as possible into a passive hang, keeping core engaged and shoulders relaxed the entire time.
Moving Around Bar
From a passive hang, keep shoulders relaxed as you walk hands side to side across bar (ya know, like you did as a kid on the monkey bars) for 30 seconds.
Assisted Band Pullup
Loop resistance band around bar and place loose end under one foot. Stack other foot on top. Passively hang from bar, then en-gage core, lats, and glutes to perform a full pullup. Slowly lower back down with control.