7 Pull Up Bar Exercises for Beginners

Do you want pull-ups to play a part in your daily workout routine? Pull-ups are great for strengthening your upper back, arms, shoulders and even your legs. Maybe you’ve seen other people do pull-ups at the gym, but your hesitant to try. Fortunately, there are many pull up bar exercises for beginners that can help you work your way toward completing traditional pull-ups. Look at some pull-ups to try as you work to make this effective exercise a part of your routine.

The Dead Hang Pull-Up

First, reach up to the bar and get a firm grip on it with both hands. Make sure your fingers are facing away from you. It’s best to use a bar set at a height that allows you to reach it without standing on a chair or step. Next, leaving your arms extended, lift your feet off the ground and hang there for ten seconds before putting your feet back on the ground. Do five or six dead hang pull-ups per session increasing the amount of time you hang from the bar until you can hang for a full 30 seconds. This exercise strengthens the muscles in your arms as well as your grip. Doing a dead hang pull-up is first step to being able to tackle several other pull up bar exercises for beginners.

The Arm Hang

For this pull-up, grip the bar and pull yourself up until your chin is just above the bar. Hang there for ten seconds, then lower your feet down to the ground. Do the arm hang for ten seconds about five or six times per workout session. Work on increasing the time you can hold your chin above the bar until your reach 30 seconds. If you aren’t able to pull yourself up to get your chin above the bar, step onto a chair or stool to get yourself into proper position. The arm hang pull-up strengthens your arms, shoulders and back.

Negative Pull-Ups

This variety of pull-up focuses on the lowering motion involved in a pull-up. Put your hands up and get a grip on the bar. Next, jump up so your chin goes above the bar. Hold your chin above the bar for a few seconds, then lower yourself slowly until your feet hit the floor. Repeat the process five or six times each session. Try to take five seconds to lower yourself to the ground. The slower you can lower yourself to the ground, the more you’ll strengthen your arms, shoulders and upper back.

The Half Pull-Up

Work your way to a full pull-up by starting with half pull-ups. Grip the bar with both of your hands. Then, pull yourself up a couple inches while keeping your head below the bar. Take your feet off the ground and hang there for ten seconds. Do this routine five or six times per session. As your upper back, arms and shoulders grow stronger, you’ll be able to pull yourself up just a little more toward the bar and hang there. Soon, you’ll feel confident enough to put your chin over the bar and accomplish your first pull-up.


Grip a pull-up bar with your hands facing away from you. Hang from the pull-up bar with your arms extended and, of course, your feet off the ground. In this position, push your shoulders toward the ground while squeezing your shoulder blades toward one another. Hold your shoulder blade squeeze for about ten seconds, then let them go back to normal position. Repeat this squeezing exercise about 15 times to increase your shoulder, arm and upper back strength.

Leg Assisted Pull-Up

This is one of those pull-up exercises for beginners that requires an extra piece of equipment. Take a resistance band and loop it over your bar. Pull one end through the loop to secure it with one end hanging down beneath the bar. Grip the bar with your fingers facing toward you. Next, put your feet into the loop at the end of your resistance band. Using the band as support, lift your chin above the bar and complete 8 chin-ups. Be sure to lower yourself as slowly as you can to build-up strength in your arms, upper back and shoulders. Try to do one or two sets of 8 chin-ups. Soon, you’ll start to see definition in your shoulders and back.
Partner Pull-Ups

This type of beginner pull-up involves a friend or workout partner. Grip the pull-up bar with your hands facing away from you. Your friend, or spotter, puts his hand under your bent knees and at your back to help you pull your chin up over the bar. However, your spotter should allow you to lower yourself without offering support. Having a spotter there helps you develop the strength and confidence to move on to doing the pull-ups without assistance. Plus, working out with a partner can provide you with the encouragement and support you need to progress.

If you don’t feel confident doing these pull-ups by yourself at first, hire a trainer or get a friend to workout with you. Remember to allow yourself time to perfect these pull-up varieties so you can get the most benefit out of each one.