Self-Assisted Pull Up


  • Choose a bar that is about chest height when you are standing.

  • Hang directly under the bar, straight down. Your upper arms should be in line with your ears.

  • Initiate the movement by pulling your shoulder blades down your back, away from your ears.

  • Pull from your back, not from your arms.

  • Use your legs for assistance as you need.

  • Keep your ribcage down and back. Do not arch your back or back bend.

  • Pause at the top of the movement and emphasis the pull of your shoulder blades down your back.

  • Feel the muscles of your back working.

  • Keep practicing and eventually you will need less and less help from your legs.



Pull ups are one of the greatest exercises. They improve shoulder function as well as upper body and core strength. The ability to pull yourself up to a bar or climb a tree creates a feeling of empowerment and possibility. Of course, being able to do a pull up is major act of strength that most people (living in a culture that requires us to do very little with our upper body) cannot perform. This self-assisted pull up is an easy, accessible way to begin working your way toward the full pull up.