How I Got My 1st Pull-up (Video!)

posted in: Fitness, Health

I’ll never forget the first time I hung on a bar, thinking that it couldn’t be THAT hard to pull myself up. Then I tried lifting my body, and I literally didn’t move. From that moment on, I was determined to get my 1st pull-up, and I have a feeling many of you are in the same boat that I once was. That’s exactly why I’m here today to show you exactly how I got my first pull-up!

How I Got My 1st Pull-up (Video!)

For what felt like foreverrr, I used an assisted pull-up machine at my gym, but I felt like I wasn’t making any real progress. I became frustrated and that’s when I realized that I needed to completely switch things up. As Einstein said, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. He was definitely onto something! 😉

So from that moment on, I completely stopped doing pull-ups. Instead, I solely focused on 3 exercises, which I show in this video!

One thing before we get to the video – I’m not a trainer or fitness professional by any means, so I’m technically not recommending anything in this post or video. Be sure to consult a trainer to be sure that you’re using proper form.

And now, onto the video! I can’t wait to hear that you got your first pull-up!


How I Got my 1st Pull-up



To sum up the exercises that I show you in this how I got my first pull-up video:


  1. Shoulder Shrugs – this was my weakest point in my pull-up, so I worked on these as often as possible. I focused on bringing my shoulder blades back and together and keeping my elbows in.


  1. Negatives – I jumped up to the bar and released down as slowwwwww as I could manage, especially through the end. If needed, you can do these with your feet on the ground, keeping as little weight on your feet as possible, and really focusing on controlling your upper body.


  1. Holds – These are tough and something that I worked up to, so don’t be frustrated if you can only hold for a second to start. To do this, I jump up and hold my body at eye level with the bar, then hold my arms at 90 degrees, and finally I hold with my arms almost fully extended, but my shoulders still locked and back. I’ve worked my way up to 30 seconds total, 10 seconds in each hold. If needed, you can do these with your feet on the ground, keeping as little weight on your feet as possible, and really focusing on controlling your upper body.


How I Got My 1st Pull-up (Video!)


5 Responses

  1. Denise Suskie
    | Reply

    Thanks for the tips! Going to get hubby to put a pull-up bar in our house! I’ve never had a strong upper body but I’m excited to try these techniques and see if I have success!

    • livinglovingpaleo
      | Reply

      Yay!! You got this, Denise!

  2. […] jump on my mini trampoline first thing every morning (it’s great for the lymph system!), and pull-ups/holds on my pull-up bar to increase my […]

  3. Ari
    | Reply

    Would you recommend with your hands facing out? I’ve been trying with my hands facing in towards me because it’s supposed to be easier. And how many would you do? I’ve been doing at least 3 times a week, usually more since June 1st and I’m only about half way up! I’ve been doing 3 sets of 3 on each exercise, is that not enough 😂 I’ve also been working on handstands and arm balances in my yoga and i don’t want to over do my poor weak shoulders! Anyway, I should probably hire a professional or something but, yeah, in or out on the hand placement?
    Thanks, you’re awesome!

    • livinglovingpaleo
      | Reply

      Hi Ari! I LOVE that you’re putting this into practice! You’d typically want your palms facing away from you, but do whatever feels best – you can always work up to that! Having your palms face towards you works different muscles than a regular pull-up would. Strengthening the muscles takes time, but even being half way up is major progress! I’d been doing obstacle course training for over a year before I started working on getting a pull-up, so I already had some of the muscles built up that I needed to pull my body weight. Trust that it will be SO worth the effort once you finally get above the bar – it’s the best feeling!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.