learn to do pull-ups with a barbell

Learning to do pull-ups is one of the main challenges when starting the gym. However, knowing the technique will really pay off if you want to see good results on your back.

Doing pull-ups is essential to improve the strength and volume of your upper body.

This article details the correct pull-up technique and what are the most common mistakes in beginners.

What are chin-ups?

The pull-ups (tractions, christs, pull-ups) on the bar are one of the most effective exercises to work the back.

Learning to do pull-ups is helpful in achieving muscle hypertrophy in the shoulders, biceps, and back muscles.

For a beginner to learn how to do barbell chin-ups; The first thing to do is learn to feel your back muscles.

In the correct chin-up technique you should always get to the top, if you see that you cannot, you should start with other exercises or modify the grip.

How to learn to do pull-ups with a barbell? – Technique

The main problem for a beginner when doing chin-ups is not working the back muscles. As a result, they become accustomed to doing pull ups using only the strength of their arms.

Before doing pull-ups, the ideal is to start with a pulley to the chest . This is a basic exercise that allows a beginner to learn to feel the tension in the back muscles.

To do pull-ups you should focus on doing a slow, controlled movement making sure to use your back muscles.

The following is the step-by-step chin-up technique:

  1. Position the hands on the bar at an opening 10 cm greater than the shoulders
  2. With the help of your arms and tensing your abs, you should raise the bar until it almost touches your chest.
  3. The movement must always be controlled, in case of not being able to decrease the opening of the grip or bend the knees
  4. Make sure to use your back muscles to get all the way up.
  5. The chest should remain forward and the gaze forward.
  6. At the top of the movement you should bring your shoulder blades together
  7. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat again.

Pull ups – How to get to the top?

The main key to getting to the top in chin-ups is the position of your hands, abdomen, and legs.

The palms should take the bar from above (pronation grip). The thumb should take the bar overhead. This small detail will make the load go towards the back and not towards the arms or hands.

The grip should be slightly wider than the shoulders and the legs should remain stationary. The abdominals must be kept fixed to avoid rocking. The back should be slightly bent back, the arms taut, the chest forward and the gaze straight ahead.

If the effort is very great, it is recommended to bend the knees. Going down, go slowly, concentrating on working your back muscles.

If you’ve already grabbed his hand, you can keep the weight up for a second and up. Without completely relaxing your arms or losing control of the movement. This will guarantee better results.

Common mistakes when doing pull-ups

The most common beginner mistakes when doing pull-ups are:

  1. You are not lifting your chin above the bar
  2. You’re using too much momentum
  3. You’re gripping the bar too wide
  4. You don’t keep your back flat
  5. You’re doing pull-ups before you can actually do it
  6. You are only using your arms

Pulley to the chest, military press and chin-ups an excellent combination

Pulley exercises to the chest , military barbell press and chin-ups are the ones that can never be lacking in a back routine .

To improve results you can divide your routine into several stages.

In addition, combining chin-ups with arm exercises will ensure that your upper body is strong and muscular.

How to stretch after doing pull-ups?

Exercises to stretch the lats and back muscles are essential after doing pull-ups.

Stretching helps prevent sports injuries and improve your performance in the gym. Some coaches even recommend stretching between chin-up sets.

To do this, sit on a bench with your back straight. The spine must maintain the natural curvature of the back. Stretch your right arm up. You should feel a stretch in your broad back muscles and a slight tension in your lower back. Stretch on each side for 25-30 seconds.

Assisted chin-ups for beginners

When it comes to learning the correct barbell chin-up technique, assisted machines can be used. An alternative in case of not having this type of machine in the gym; is to use a bench where your feet or knees rest.

Power-assisted chin-up machines are capable of significantly reducing loads when climbing. Therefore they are usually recommended for a beginner. Once the technique is learned, the normal bar should be used.

The worst strategy for learning pull-ups is to try your best to do sets of 50 reps. As well as including an extra load on the ankles to start. This is only allowed for advanced athletes. Modifications to the chin-up technique at the start often lead to frequent back injuries.


  • The chin-ups or pull ups are an essential exercise to develop the muscles of the back. They are one of the best exercises to work your back.
  • To learn how to do chin-ups with correct technique, beginners can start with an assisted machine for pull ups, pulley to the chest; or bend the knees.
  • Dividing the movement into 3 phases is a good strategy to perfect your pull-up technique.

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