- Target Muscle Group
- Exercise TypeStrength
- Equipment RequiredChains
- Force TypePull (Bilateral)
- Experience LevelIntermediate
- Secondary Muscles
Abs, Biceps, Shoulders, Upper Back
Weighted Pull Up Overview
The weighted pull up is a progression to the traditional bodyweight pull up and targets the lats as well as the rest of the back, biceps, core, and shoulders indirectly.
By adding weight to the pull up, you can accomplish progressive overload with the lift and put yourself in position to build bigger muscles. Be sure you have mastered the traditional bodyweight variation of the pull up before progressing to the weighted pull up.
Weighted Pull Up Instructions
- Load a weight belt with the desired weight and loop it around your waist.
- Using a pronated grip, grasp the pull up bar with a slightly wider than shoulder width grip.
- Take a deep breath, squeeze your glutes and brace your abs. Depress the shoulder blades and then drive the elbows straight down to the floor while activating the lats.
- Pull your chin towards the bar until the lats are fully contracted, then slowly lower yourself back to the start position and repeat for the assigned number of repetitions.
Weighted Pull Up Tips
- To decrease bicep involvement, use a false (thumbless grip).
- Try to keep a neutral head position (looking straight ahead or slightly up) as hyperextending the neck can lead to compensations throughout the spine.
- If the bar is high enough, keep the legs straight and in front of the body in a hollow body position.
- Avoid falling into overextension of the lumbar spine by squeezing your glutes and bracing your abs.
- The pull up is completed when the lats are fully flexed, don’t continue pulling and compensate with the pecs. When this occurs, the elbows will flare up behind the body, the shoulder will round forward, and you’ll begin to feel pressure in the front of your shoulders.
- A lifter’s segment length will determine whether or not they can actually get their chin over the bar, it’s not an absolute for everyone.
- Lower to almost full extension of the elbow but avoid locking out completely as this can place excessive strain on the ligamentous structures within the elbow and shoulder.
- If you can’t complete a single bodyweight pull up, start with slow negatives (add weight when these can be accomplished under control) or flexed arm hangs in the top position.
- Ditch the straps and kips, neither one is necessary or recommended.