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I want to work up to doing more pull-ups, but have access to only a very minimal gym (i.e., without a pull-up bar), and then no gym after that, for a month.

What are the best ways to work the muscles needed for pull-ups without access to any equipment (e.g., bars, weights, bands, jungle-gyms, etc.)?

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This is a really good question, and one I've struggled with myself (I'm a big fan of pullups). I'll see about writing my thoughts and experiences in the matter later. – VPeric Aug 6 '11 at 19:01

If you have nothing to pull yourself up to, the next best thing is rowing.

The two most practical kinds of rows without a gym are:

inverted rows which can be done under a table

inverted row

and dumbbell rows which you can do with various heavy objects that have a handle, like a bottle-crate (preferably the kind that has the handle in the middle).

enter image description here

But you should still go outside and find yourself some bar to to a pull-up with, like on a playground. Carry-over from a similar exercise is not as good as the real thing.

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The pulling up on a table is a good one. The dumbbells could be replaced with a heavy suitcase or a large canister of water/sand. Good suggestions! – Ivo Flipse Aug 6 '11 at 10:25

Here's a link to some 'alternatives'.

I use an iron gym pull up bar that fits in a door frame. I need to tuck my legs up, but find it challenging and provides for pull/chin and neutral ups. I'm 6' 215 lbs – so it's stable.

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+1 on the iron gym pull up bar, I'm 6'4" 285 lbs and it supports my lardy self. I can't do pull-ups yet, but I'm getting there :D – Jonas Aug 10 '11 at 22:55
How much pressure does the iron gym pull up bar put on the door trim on the outsides of the door. My door trim is pretty crappy and I don't want to pull the bar down on myself. – Kevin Johnsrude Jan 29 at 18:09

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