So I am a beginner when it comes to pull ups and I can't even do one. Currently I am doing pull up training to do my first pull up \o/

Yesterday I adopted a new pull up training method. This method mainly requires you to do 2 things-

1) Dead hangs- Jump up to the bar, hold it and keep hanging for 5-10 sec, then get back down and jump up again, do this 10 times, then during the 11th and 12th rep hang for as long as you can. Then rest and do the set again.

2) Negatives- Keep a chair/bench a little distance away from the pull-up bar, step on it with both legs and hold the bar. Then jump up to get your chin over the pull up bar and come down as slow as you can back to the chair. Repeat.

Now I think that the jump up part in both these exercise is important because when you jump up and hold the bar in mid air, while coming down you have to resist against the momentum to reach the hanging position. And thats where the problem comes. Here is a pic of my pull up bar

My pull up bar

I couldn't actually find a pull up bar or find a place to fit it somewhere so I used the ladder of my previous bunk bed :P I didn't feel like buying one as I would go to the gym in some months anyway.

But as you can see, my improvised pull up bar has two bars on it. Now normally when I do pull up training I use the lower one as my body fits quite nicely in it and I don't really have to raise / jump to reach the bar. But now, in this new training method, I have to jump and for that I have to use the upper bar. But when I try to do these exercises on the upper bar, the part of my arm around the elbow clashes with the lower bar and its really difficult for me to do pull ups like that. Also my posture is ruined by that.

So, this is the problem. Should I move the bar a little bit higher so that I can jump up to the lower bar, or am I just overthinking and is jumping up really not that important? I am asking this because in most of the youtube tutorials they say "jump up and hold the bar". They don't really give an emphasis on "jump up" but still..I wanna be on the safe side. Sorry if this question sounds a little weird...

Here is the video link just in case you want to watch it and get a better idea of what I am saying. Its 6 mins long- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAEua0zu_74

Thanks for helping :D

  • You're overthinking it and putting too much importance on jumping.
    – rrirower
    Feb 12, 2017 at 16:39

1 Answer 1


"Jumping" is not a necessary part in the dead hang. The idea is hanging either from the chin-to-bar & then lower or just hanging for grip strength. You can do it with the bar as is minus the jump and bend your legs at the knees. Basically, grab & hang down with your knees tucking your legs behind you. That's also how you'll do the actual pullup.

As for you bar, you can do a lot with the existing placement & structure. You can cut it down to use just one straight pipe after you file down & smoothen the cut area. You can get another straight pipe (cheap larger conduit pipe will work -- don't use the small one). The grip that creates an open circle from the tips of your thumb & index finger is better than a tighter grip.

Another note that might be helpful for you is that while the name "pull-up" suggests "pulling", and "up," it's not that at all. When I show someone new to it, they are often surprised they misunderstand it to be harder than it is. The staging part of the pull up is to engage your muscles so that your entire posterior muscle chain/sets (as seen very clearly in the video below) is ready to compress. The "pull" phase is this compression where your body goes upward to the bar from an angle almost like a big bear hug --just upward instead of hugging horizontally. Your core also contracts to pull the rest of your body together. This is why the move is also a good core workout with its many variations.

Watch this beautiful rendering of the pull up explanation.

The Perfect Pull Up Video by Calisthenic Movement

  • I'd get a couple spray paint cans & spray cover that rust as well. You don't want to be touching it, even accidentally. Feb 12, 2017 at 18:19
  • firstly, what does "sand down" mean and secondly I would get a cheap conduit pipe but the problem is, I don't have anywhere to fit it.. Feb 14, 2017 at 9:21
  • and about the "jumping" part, what I get till now is, jumping is not essential. If the bar is too low then you can fold your legs behind you but you CANNOT raise your knees up towards your chest as that is not the correct position for pull-ups. Am I right till now? Feb 14, 2017 at 9:23
  • Sorry if I was unclear. I meant you can cut the yellow bars into a single straight pipe & smoothen the cut by using coarse sanding or filling. Or, you can replace the yellow bar with the conduit pipe. Smaller conduit pipes are not strong. Be sure you get the larger one. You can buy pipe clamps and bolts them in place just as how the yellow bars are now. Be sure the clamps and bolts are strong enough for double your weight. For the legs, I meant folding back, not knees up. That would be another movement variation for core & back exercise, but not part of the pullup. Feb 15, 2017 at 18:55
  • when I do pull ups right now, I get these weird marks under my fingers and they feel really uncomfortable and when I do pull ups they pain a lot...what can I do about it? Did you get these marks too? Feb 16, 2017 at 5:53

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