When doing pullups or chinups coming out of the bottom part (with arms straight) is by far the most difficult thing for me. I can do at least 15 chinups in a row when I go only 50-60% down, but if I go down all the way I can do only 1 or 2 strict chinup/pullup at once (with 5 sec break between each rep I can do 20 of it, but not in a row).

So are there any specific drills or exercises to improve the bottom part of my chin ups and pullups?

2 Answers 2


I don't see much use in doing drills specifically for this problem. I'd just focus on dead-hang pull-ups. You'll get stronger with those. The issue here is a mismatch between your perceived strength performance ("I can do 15 chinups") and your "decreased" performance under the standards of the exercise.

If you really think you'd benefit from fixing this specific issue with targeted work, I'd do a modified form of Frenchies (a pattern of doing pull-ups with pauses). If 0 were the bottom and 100 is the top, maybe I'd do something like:

  1. Start at 0
  2. Go to 25 and pause
  3. Go to 0 then go to 50 and pause
  4. Go to 0 then 100
  5. Go to 0 and pause

But if I did that, I would make sure to get in plenty of full pull-up rep volume, too.


I would focus on not allowing your elbows to lock out at the bottom portion of the movement. Leave a slight bend in the elbows to maintain tension on the working muscles for starters.

You can also focus on doing negative chin ups. Pull yourself up to the top of the bar and then concentrate on the negative portion. Give your 15-20 seconds to get down to the bottom. It will increase your eccentric and concentric strength overall.

Look into buying some bands that provide weighted assistance (much like a Gravitron machine). You can loop the band over the top of the bar and stick a knee in the bottom portion. The bands come in different tensions. Start with one that provides 10 to 15 lbs worth of assistance and go from there. It should allow you to perform an extra 2-4 reps per set. Once you remove the bands and go back to a bodyweight chin up, you should see an increase in strength.

I hope those two protocols help.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.