Earlier this week I explained how to do pullups using a pullup bar. But what do you do if you are not strong enough to do a pullup yet, and you do not have a machine to assist you? You can do what is known as a negative pullup.

To do a negative pullup, put a step near your pullup bar that is sturdy enough to jump off of but not so high that you can not do pullups. Ideally, the step should allow you to just barely reach the pullup bar by reaching. If you do not have a step handy, you can jump from the floor; it is easier and safer to be able to just reach the bar without touching.

Grasp the pullup bar and jump up to the top position of a normal pullup. Slowly lower yourself back to the ground. Take as long as you can. If you really want to work the muscles, pause halfway down and hold yourself there with your elbows at a 90� angle.

Your muscles will have to work hard at holding yourself in position, and you will eventually be able to work your way up to doing full pullups. Negative pullups are also good for those who can do pullups but who want to change things up a little, or whose workout calls for more repititions than they can currently do.