I'm doing pull ups from a bar, but I'm only able to get about 3 repetitions. After 3 times my biceps can't lift my head up the bar. I am doing ab exercises as well, but that hasn't increased my rep count. How can I increase the number of pull ups I can do?

I'm looking for instruction on the technique for doing proper pull ups:

  • How much distance between my hands?
  • Which way should they be facing?
  • How should I be breathing during the exercise?
  • Should I do reps as fast as I can, or should I do slow pull ups?

I'd also like supplementary exercises to help increase the number of repetitions I can perform.

  • Are you doing pull-ups? fitness.stackexchange.com/questions/3268/…
    – gwaigh
    Jul 3, 2019 at 8:05
  • Not exactly what he asks nor the answers. It is similar to my question but not what I ask . I repeat my question with better meaning.I want pull -ups too but increasing repetitions. What I mean is first the technique it needs(example my hands right to left ,how much distance) ,second breathing (how to breath while I am doing this exercise ) ,third very fast pull -up or low speed ?, plus exercises for increasing the repetitions.All,together will be the question I did above "how to increase hanging repetitions..".I just thought you will give me advice about those because it is important for
    – e.p
    Jul 3, 2019 at 8:52

2 Answers 2


I have given multiple answers on this topic, see here and here.

I have a few questions though. Are you doing pull-ups or chin-ups? Are you using your scapula to keep your upper back tight during the entire movement? Have you tried doing things like negative pull-ups and inverted rows?

Let us know a bit more details as to how you got where you are, so we can help you go forward.


Well, to gain stamina at the end of training session you can go down as slow as possible. That is first exercise, maybe behind you, but you can use it to watch your body and find out what can be done better.

Next. Not breathing is against you. Find rhythm and breath in the way that is OK for you. With 3-5 reps that is quite hard. It would be good to do more reps to find it out. Bands can help, also there are special machines to assist / take some weight off - while pull up. Anyway idea is to try do more to find rhythm.

Seems like you are doing too much with your biceps. Maybe it is that it is muscle weakest in the chain, but that would be quite suspicious. Don't think about hands, think about your back, chest lifting you up.

Grip. I would stick to shoulders wide grip - that is most effective. Reversing and going wide will make it more difficult.

Besides all of that - you can activate more muscles by different move. That is perfect, but rule is that you need to do maybe 10 reps with normal move.

Hope it help. If you have questions. Just put comments, and I'll update answer!

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