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Wednesday, December 6, 2023
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Negative pull-ups: an exercise that strengthens the back and is suitable for beginners

Date: December 6, 2023 Time: 07:55:48

Classic pull-ups are the basis of the basics, we have known them since school. But not everyone knows that you can only use one element of this exercise in training. Then your muscles will be pumped in a completely different way. We will talk about the so-called negative pull-ups. Today, together with a physical trainer, we will discover why to do them and what benefits they provide.

World class fitness trainer

“Negative pull-ups are an exercise that only involves the eccentric phase, that is, lowering from a hanging position. This type is most often practiced among beginners to strengthen the back muscles and teach the classic pull-up technique. But it can also be used by experienced athletes, since in the eccentric phase the muscles will be under load for longer, so they will become stronger. Any professional athlete knows that the eccentric phase of an exercise is as important as the concentric phase. That is why special attention is paid to it.”

Follow the link to tell us how to quickly learn to do pull-ups:


How to quickly learn to do horizontal bar pull-ups from scratch. 3 preparatory exercises

What are negative pull-ups?

In fact, everyone who did regular pull-ups also did negative pull-ups and they just didn’t know it. They begin when a person’s chin touches the bar, this is the starting position. The main task is to slowly stretch your arms so that all the necessary muscles are strained as much as possible. And then you must return to the starting position.

If you have enough strength, then you can perform the positive phase, as usual, using the strength of your arms. Then the exercise will be similar to the classic pull-ups, only with special attention to the final phase. Or you can find a lower horizontal bar so you can use a jump to get to the starting position without wasting energy. Or go up the stairs, if we are talking about a sports complex.

The exercise itself is not difficult, anyone can do it. It is usually preparatory, so that it is easier to do the classics later. But this does not mean that experienced athletes neglect it. Negative pull-ups are the eccentric phase of the movement where the muscles lengthen. And this phase is no less important than the concentric phase, when the muscles shorten. Thanks to this, muscle mass can increase significantly. This will be especially noticeable in the initial stages of training. It will also improve the coordination of muscle contractions.


Learn to do negative pull-ups

If you look at it superficially, the exercise does not differ from the original, but everything is much more complicated. The most important thing is that you should extend your arms very slowly so that the muscles are maximally tense.

negative pull-ups

Execution technique

Take your starting position. This can be done by jumping or doing a regular pull-up. At the starting point of the amplitude, the shoulder blades should be lowered and adducted, the elbows should be pressed as close to the body as possible, the forearms should be in the flat position of the body. Next, perform a negative phase: lower yourself as much as possible. slowly as possible until your arms are almost completely stretched, shoulder blades raised and you are not hanging, in the starting position in the classic pull-ups.


What muscles are used in negative pull-ups?

As for the load, it falls on the same muscles as when performing classic pull-ups. This is not surprising, because the movement is the same. The deltoid, triceps and biceps brachii muscles are involved. As well as the trapezius, rhomboid and dorsal muscles. It is not for nothing that pull-ups are considered a great way to strengthen not only the arms, but also the back. This exercise also increases grip strength.

Variations and progression of the exercise.

If we talk about how to overcome the positive phase of exercise, then everything will turn out to be quite varied. You can find a low horizontal bar so that your feet are on the ground, giving you the opportunity to push off and thus get through the initial phase. You can use any hill to jump on, it could be a stepped platform, several discs, or a plyo box. Or ask someone close to you to help you do this exercise.


Let’s move on to the types of grips. You can grip the bar at shoulder height, wide or, conversely, narrow. A wider grip will put stress on your back, while a narrow grip will put stress primarily on your arms. You will also have to choose between a supinated or pronated grip. The first is when the thumbs point in opposite directions from each other, and the second is when the opposite occurs.

The difference between them is not only this. A straight grip, that is, pronated, activates the back muscles more, and more specifically, the upper part of the lats. And at the same time it is weaker than in supination. A reverse grip, unlike a straight grip, loads the arm muscles better, and because of this, other muscles may not receive enough load. So that you can combine both grips, alternate them.

With progression everything is quite banal: you can increase the number of repetitions or the time of extension of the arms. Remember: the further you go to the bottom, the more your muscles will tense. And if these options are too boring for you, we can suggest using additional weights on your belt. Then the exercise becomes much more difficult.


Additional recommendations

Don’t forget about the warm-up, this is the most important part of any training. Pay special attention to warming your hands, because they will bear the main load. Do a joint warm-up, don’t think that injuries will pass you by. They arrive when you least expect it. And injuries always mean pain, always a forced pause in sport.

Be careful when choosing the number of approaches. Overload is no less dangerous than injuries. If your body is not prepared to work, your muscles will hurt a lot and you will also have to take a break for at least a few days to recover. Plus, negative pull-ups are only part of the training process, save energy for other exercises.

The previous article explained how daily pull-ups will affect the body:


What happens if you do pull-ups every day?

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Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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