This exercise can be one of the toughest body-weight exercises, but is excellent for strengthening the biceps and major muscles of the back such as the lats and trapezius muscles. There are also number of variations to really isolate different muscle groups

Neutral Pull Up

1. Hold onto the bar with palms facing one another , grab the pull up bar with hands in a wide, neutral or close grip depending on which muscles you want to target.

2. Begin this exercise at the bottom of the movement in a dead hang position with fully extended arms.

3. Moving only the arms not the body, lift your torso up to the bar using your back muscles and biceps, until your chin is above your hands.

4. Pause in the contracted position before lowering slowly to the start position.

Tip: This exercise can be made easier using an assisted machine or a large theraband. Additionally try making it harder by adding weight to increase strength.


pull-up-7       pull-up-8

Wide Grip Pull Up

Hold onto the bar with hands shoulder width apart and palms facing forwards to really target the lats.

pull-up-5       pull-up-6

Negative Pull Up

This exercise is a great mid way point if your struggling to pull yourself above the bar, still allowing eccentric activation of the targeted muscles. Use a box or bench to pull yourself up towards the bar, this is your new start position. Slowly lower yourself back down to the dead hang position, before standing back on the box to start again.


Please seek the advice of a GP, physiotherapist or a medically qualified personal trainer before commencing any exercise to avoid the risk of any injury. We do not advise performing any exercise if it exhibits any pain or discomfort in any way.

If you have any questions or queries about any of the exercises, please contact the Didsbury clinic (Manchester) to discuss with your physiotherapist or personal trainer.

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