Where are you on the Pull-Up Progression Scale?

The Pull-up is one of the more advanced Bodyweight exercises we do at ANCHOR. It takes a lot of time, and consistent work to get a REAL Pull-up. That is why we scale the movement to ensure that all of our clients are strong and feel safe in that progression before we move them up the scale.  If you are interested in getting your pull-up, be prepared to put in the time!  You should be practicing your progression at LEAST 4 times per week in order to move up the scale toward your first pull-up.  Progress depends on many other factors so grab a coach and ask them what you should do to get you there!

1. Isometric TRX/Ring Row Hold

This progression is good for those just starting out to fitness and/or have shoulder complications that will prevent them from safely hanging with arms overhead.

2. Bench Assisted Hollow Hang

The next progression is good for those who are cleared to hang with arms above but need a stable surface to assist in order to not put too much stress on shoulders and allows for better engagement of the lats and abs properly.

3. Band Assisted Hollow Hang

The next step up on our scale utilizes a sport band to help assist the Hollow Hang.  Placing a foot in the band will give an added boost to allow you to engage abs and lats with both legs in the air, but still creating less stress on the shoulder joints. 

4. Hollow Hang

This progression requires more shoulder stability, grip strength, and proper engagement of lats, abs, and glutes. Grip is thumbs over the bar, shoulders away from ears, leg muscles firing off, and the "hollow" position comes from properly bracing your midsection.

5. Band Assisted Hollow Hold

This progression puts you over the bar in a "hold" position.  Elbows are driving down, upper back (especially lats) and arms are doing a lot more work. Just like the band-assisted hang, the band gives a small boost to allow you to properly engage and brace. Grip can be overhand or underhand (chin up) positions

6. Above the Bar Hollow Hold

The next step up from the band, the Hollow Hold requires a lot more muscle engagement.  Elbows are driving down, upper back (especially lats) and arms are doing a lot more work.  The grip can be overhand or underhand (chin up) positions. The goal is to get above the bar so the neck or chest is at bar height. 

7. Pull-Up Negatives or Pull-Ups

The final progression is to start working on the action of the pull-up. Some may be ready for their first pull-up at this point, others may need to work on a slow lowering (or negative) from the top over the bar position. Make sure you fully extend your arms at the bottom while still engaging your lats, and that you come all the way up to your lower neck or chest when coming up over the bar.

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ANCHOR life + fitness

112 S. Broad Street

Kennett Square, PA 

Telephone: 610.444.5433

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