How to perform a pullup with an animated image showing the move. Click on the picture to see the full sized animation.

  1. Grab a pullup bar (or a handy tree branch…) in an overhand grip.
  2. Your hands should be located right around or slightly outside shoulder width.
  3. You should be hanging with your elbows slightly bent.
  4. Pull your body up by bending your elbow; your forearm should be fairly stationary.
  5. Pause for a moment when your head is above the bar.
  6. Slowly descend by straightening your arms back to the starting position.
  7. Do not lock your elbows.

Pullups are a great body weight exercise that can be done a few different ways, some of which I will expand upon in the future. You can vary the intensity of the exercise by placing your arms closer or farther apart from one another on the bar, or by attaching a weight belt to your waist. Most people, however, have no need to ever do anything but a standard body weight pullup.

You can usually find a machine at most gyms that you stand or kneel upon, and which offsets your weight and allows you to do pullups at less than your body weight.