Pull ups are an ultimate display of using your own strength to control your body weight. [tweet_box design=”box_08″]If you can pull your dead weight with just your arms and upper body, then you will have developed some great strength.[/tweet_box]

one arm pull up progression

one arm pull up progression

An insight into the ideology of progressions and featuring our pull-up progression in Convict Conditioning:

Step 1 – Vertical Pulls

[tweet_box design=”box_08″]This difficult progression starts by building strength over many repetitions of very simple exercises.[/tweet_box] This first one involves holding on to a doorway or similar structure, leaning back and pulling yourself closer. The high amount of repetition will build strength and make you able to move onto more difficult exercises.

Step 2 – Horizontal Pulls

A slightly more difficult exercise progression for pull ups. Hold on to a bar or similar object with your heels on the floor hanging by your arms around a 30 degree angle to the floor. Then you pull yourself up until your chest almost touches the bar before lowering yourself slowly back down. This is another exercise which will increase your strength and muscular endurance over many repetitions.

Step 3 – Jack knife Pulls

A simulation of a full pull up by initiating half the motion. Hold on to a pull up bar while resting your knees on a raised surface. Pull yourself up before lowering back to the original position. This gives the first sensation of pulling your bodyweight vertically.

Step 4 – Half Pull Ups

A more difficult version of a jack knife pull as you are supporting your weight throughout. Hold your weight with your arms wide apart and your triceps parallel to the ground. Perform the range of motion by pulling your weight the short distance until your chin is near the bar and lower to the starting position while supporting your full weight.

Step 5 – Full Pull Ups

Hang from a bar with you arms shoulder width apart and fully extended. Pull yourself up with your arms until your chin is near the bar and control on the way down. By now your will have some awesome strength by being able to manipulate your dead bodyweight.

Step 6 – Close Pull Ups

This is the first exercise in this progression which works towards the one-arm pull up. Here we create the sensation of lifting from a more narrow base. Hold the bar with your hands touching one another. Recreate a classic pull up in this position and control back down

Step 7 – Uneven Pull Ups

While holding the bar with one hand, hold your wrist with you other hand. Use both arms from this position to pull yourself up. The uses both your arms while putting more strain on the one arm which will soon be performing a one arm pull up.

Step 8 – Half One Arm Pull-Ups

Hold yourself in a raised position on the bar with one arm and pull yourself up until your chin is above the bar. This is a very short contraction which covers half the distance of the ultimate step in this progression.

Step 9 – Assisted Pull-Ups

Use an exercise band and hold on to it with one hand when it is wrapped around the bar. Fully extend your other arm holding on to the bar and pull your chin above the bar with this arm. This is the sensation of pulling yourself fully up with one arm with your balance supported on the exercise band.

Step 10 – One Arm Pull-Ups

Hold the bar with one hand, fully extend your arm and hang from that arm while your other hand is behind your back. Use your one arm to pull your chin above the bar and control on the way down. If you have reached this step, you will have built some incredible upper body and arm strength.

Feel free to use this strength to enter some of our other progressions.

one arm pull up progression

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Professional trainer, ex cross-fitter and a long time calisthenic practitioner. I started with Convict Conditioning and achieved levels of strength which enabled me to take part in street workouts championships. Check Out our Resources and Start Building Real Strength just using your Bodyweight!

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