Under Bar Pullup

Under Bar Pull Up

Under Bar Pull Up as demonstrated by IFBB Pro Julie Lohre

Two variations of this exercise involve hand placement either pronated (palms face away from body), or supinated (palms face toward body)

Pronated grip Under Bar Pullup

Under Bar Pull-Ups Under Bar Pullup

Supinated grip Under Bar Pullup

Under Bar Pull UpUnder Bar Pull Up

Under Bar Pull Ups – My favorite exercise for pull up prep and strength. 

How many strict pull ups can you do?

If you’re like many women the answer is Zero. I’m here to tell you that even if you can’t do a single pull up there is a way to train that doesn’t involve flailing under the bar.

Why are Pull Ups So Hard?

This exercise is one of the more difficult bodyweight exercises for a reason. It involved muscle coordination, strength and grip.

Are there tools to help me be able to do a pullup?

There are a number of training tips and tools for pullups, including bands. If you’ve been working with bands to assist pull ups and haven’t achieved your first unassisted pull up, there’s a reason for that. Simply put, bands rely on momentum based on the elasticity of the band, especially at the bottom range. Basically, bands let you cheat on the lat and rhomboid part of this exercise. So you’re not getting the full effect of training for the real motion and strength needed.

Where do I start when working on a pull up?

Preparing for a pull up starts with grip and hang. Can you grip a pull up bar and hang from it without falling in the first few seconds? If not, the starting point for pull ups should begin with grip strength. The simplest way to work on this is to do static bar hang drills. It’s as simple as stepping under a bar, grasping and holding a slightly hollow body position while hanging. Repeat this step with rest in between until you can hang for close to a minute or more without falling. Once you’re feeling confident with the hang, move on to pull up holds.

What is a Pull Up Hold?

Pull up holds are where you have your chin above the bar and hold the top of the pull up position for as long as possible. Use a box if you need to get your body up to the top position of the pull up and work on holding it and increasing the duration each training session.

Scapular retraction, pulling your shoulder blades back and down, is something that’s difficult to do, nonetheless explain. For most women, engaging the lats and retracting the scapulae is very difficult…and I’ve encountered proof of this through coaching posing for fitness and figure. In most situations for our modern day posture, we sit hunched forward very rarely pulling ourselves back up. But now that I’ve said that, you likely corrected your posture as you read it and you now know what the motion is right?

Here’s a demonstration video for Scapular Retractions

Banded pull aparts also allow you to focus on this scapular retraction and engaging the back muscles needed to complete a pull up.

What is a good progression exercise for Pull Ups?

Under Bar Pull Ups – My favorite exercise for pull up prep and strength. This exercise is a close representation that allows for incremental difficulty increases simply by moving your body angle and the bar height. Using a squat rack or smith machine, set up a bar so that you can hang underneath with your legs and torso in a tight body position that is almost horizontal to the floor. While hanging under the bar, you will complete a pull up. This can be done with pronated or supinated grip. As you are able to increase the number of pull ups, start to raise the bar and decrease the horizontal position of your torso and legs. Working all the way up to strict bar pull ups under a high bar.

**IFBB Pro Julie Lohre’s Tip: Pull-ups are an extremely challenging exercise for many women!  Keep the faith as you work on the prep exercises and your hard work will eventually pay off.

Related Exercises:
Band Pull Aparts