How I do Pull Ups in CrossFit

by - Tuesday, February 05, 2013

After posting about some of the WODS I've been doing in CrossFit that are heavy on the pull ups, I got a few questions about if I can actually do pull ups and how I do them.

First off, I cannot, in anyway, do a real pull up.

I have tried, and I just end up dangling and swinging from the bar looking like a goon.

Bar-hanging...this is what we were supposed to be doing.

So then how do I get through WODs full of pull ups?

By using a band.

Ignore the strong guy doing weighted pull ups in this picture and check out the girl behind him with the resistance band on the bar.

When I do pull ups, I loop a band over the bar like that. I try to pick the middle-difficulty band to make it a little bit challenging, but depending how many pull ups we're doing, sometimes I opt for the easiest band.

Once I've got the band knotted on securely, I step up on a box, put one of my feet in the loop at the bottom of the band, and start doing pull ups.

One of the girls from my gym doing pull ups with a band.

The band gives you some spring and momentum and also helps support some of your body weight.

Several of the people at my gym use bands when we do pull ups, especially the beginners. There's no shame in doing it. I mean everyone has to start somewhere.

I don't think I ever look this happy doing pull ups

So if you're nervous to try CrossFit because you can't do a pull up, don't be! There are ways you can modify almost every move that we do as you learn and get stronger!

I know one day I'll eventually graduate from doing pull ups with a band to doing a regular, unassisted pull up. It's one of my many CrossFit goals.

All photos in this post pulled from my gym's blog! Thanks Josh!

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  1. i love pullups! i practiced them before/after class for a few weeks and finally finally got the hang of them. you'll get there!!

  2. I have a tough time getting tons of pullups done too. Regular practice helps, but I can still only get up to 3 or 4 unassisted. crazy.

  3. I just hang from the bar when we have to do pullups as well. I love that everything in CF can be modified to work for any fitness level.

  4. I have zero upper body strength so I've been a little scared of the push up idea! I'm starting a CF foundations class in like 2 weeks and I'm really excited :)

  5. [...] How I do Pull Ups in CrossFit from JessRuns [...]

  6. I've always wondered how so many people can do pull ups! That makes more sense now...I think I'd feel AMAZING if I could do a pull up.