Barbell Shrugged

Technique and Progressions for Strict Pull-ups – TechniqueWOD

Doug Larson


  • So when do you know that you have “mastered” the pull up? In other words, when can you start adding weight?

  • When you guys says ring rows, are we talking vertical, horizontal or a variation? Seems like when I do them, they are more horizontal.

    • Use all angles, but work up more towards vertical as you progress. Couple that with some barbell rows, heavy, to maintain balance.

  • How much carry over do bent over rows have on the pull up? I have a home gym with no option to do pull up at the moment so I have been doing a lot of rows, I’m currently rowing 90kg for multiple sets of 5-8 reps with good form (no excessive lower back jerking) and this is about my body weight. I am wondering if this will translate over to pull ups when I get a bar installed in my gym soon.

    • They are essential, but no, don’t always carry-over directly to the pull-up. If you lack PU mechanics, you’ll have to work that. That said, keep rowing! Great way to raw strength. Work on PU form, couple with more strength all over…you’ll be good to go.

  • Hi guys,

    Found this video after searching your site (love it btw!) and I wanted to ask a question about programming for pull ups.

    I’ve struggled to get my first strict pull up for a looong time now and have decided that now it’s time to get this thing going. I’ve been doing a lot of negative/reversed pull ups and assistant exercises like rows etc on my upper body days, but still I don’t seem to be making any significant progress.

    If I would want to take this as my main focus, how many times a week should I do these exercises and what kind of programming would you recommend?

    Thanks for your help and hope this comment finds you!

    Cheers from Copenhagen Denmark. 🙂

  • What are your recommendations for someone who can do 5-7 strict pull-ups, but only for 1 or 2 sets. When a WOD calls for 5 rounds of 10, should I substitute or just push through taking as much rest as needed?

  • I started at my gym about 6 months ago but I’ve been stuck at a max of 3 strict pull ups. I can’t wait to implement these and hopefully speed up my progress! Love the shows!!!

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