Skip Nav

How to Do a Pull-Up Hold

Pull-Ups Are My Goal, and This Is the 1 Move My CrossFit and Gymnastics Coaches Said to Do

When I started CrossFit over three years ago, I had one major goal in mind: do one pull-up. I was psyched when I got my first one in my first year, but sadly, I haven't been able to progress to rocking out more than one rep — even that one pull-up is still a struggle! I recently started taking an adult gymnastics class, and both my gymnastics coach and my CrossFit coach agreed that if I want to get good at pull-ups, I need to do pull-up holds.

These isometric holds are so hard! But they're what I need to practice in order to strengthen the muscles necessary for pull-ups. Admittedly, I rarely work on pull-ups (which is why I can't do them!) and always modify by doing ring rows in workouts. But I'm ready to get serious about making time for them at home.

How to Do a Pull-Up Hold

  • Place both hands on a pull-up bar with your palms facing away from you. Stand on a box or thick mat if you need help reaching the bar. You can also do this with a large resistance band around the bar (like you'd use if you were doing assisted pull-ups), placing your foot in the bottom of the band.
  • Jump up so your chin is above the bar. Keep your core tight, and focus on engageing your back muscles, keeping your shoulders pressed down away from your ears.
  • Hold like this as long as you can, working your way up to 20 seconds.
  • This counts as one rep.

A couple times a week, complete five reps with a minute rest between each rep, and you'll get stronger, eventually building up to your first pull-up! Looking for more moves to help you master a pull-up? Check out these 16 exercises.

More from POPSUGAR
From Our Partners
Practical Workout Gear That Holds All of Your Valuables
Dumbbell Back and Arm Exercises
A Trainer Wants You to Stop Feeling Guilty About Rest Days
We Compared the Best Lululemon Leggings
Trainers Debunk the Top Fitness Myths of the Past Decade
CrossFit AQAP Workout With Jumping Rope and Push-Ups
Should I Foam Roll Before or After a Workout?
This 5K Running Playlist Will Help You Pound Pavement
Free Yoga Videos For Gratitude
30-Minute CrossFit EMOM Workout
20-Minute HIIT Workout For Small Spaces
Need a New Workout? It's Time to Try Swimming

From Our Partners

Latest Health & Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds