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"Easy" Workout to Build Pullups

A Marine recruit does pullups. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Pedro Cardenas

There is always talk about military members having to do pullups — at least in the Marine Corps and the Special Ops side of the house. The pullup is extremely important to any Tactical Profession. What follows are some workouts to take into the gym and build up to your first pullup or even build up to double digits.

If you find yourself gym, unable to do a pullup, and are looking for a workout to get you there, I recommend  the Super Set Circuit. It is a simple program, and goes as follows:

Repeat 4-5 times (Do every other day – 3 times a week)

Pullups max - *
Pulldowns 10-15 (make it heavy and only do after failing at pullups)
Grip Work – try some of these Operator grip options for 1 minute.
Db rows 10/arm
Bicep curls 10-15

If you need more of a rest in between pulling exercises, you may want to “rest” with another exercise. Abdominal exercises, plank poses, leg exercises, run 2-3 minutes, or pushing exercises are great ideas for PULL recovery exercises.

*Cannot Do Pullups? Resort to these in place of the pullup exercise:

If you cannot do any pullups, this is where getting your arms used to your bodyweight is critical. In place of pullups do:

Jumping Pullups — Get up to the bar by jumping and pulling at the same time. Hold yourself there for a few seconds, then slowly lower yourself back to the ground. Do as many of those as you can in place of pullups.

5 Second Negatives — Get up to bar any way you can, even if this means stepping up on a chair / bench. Get into the flexed arm hang position and slowly lower yourself to the slow count of 5 Mississippi’s. Repeat 1-2 times. Once this gets easier, try to stop the downward movement halfway for 1-2 seconds.

More articles related to getting more pullups:

Three Phase Program on Pullups for USMC tests
Pullup Push — Have a plateau on your pullups, but still in single digits? Try this.

Related Topics

Fitness Stew Smith Pushups and Pullups

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Contributor

Stew Smith works as a presenter and editorial board member with the Tactical Strength and Conditioning program of the National Strength and Conditioning Association and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS). He has also written hundreds of articles on Military.com's Fitness Center that focus on a variety of fitness, nutritional, and tactical issues military members face throughout their career.

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