Pull-ups and chin-ups are great exercises. But eventually, you’ll need to move beyond them if you want to keep making progress in your fitness training program.
So, if you’ve gotten really good at pull-ups and chin-ups, what’s next? Here are some ideas of what to do after you’ve mastered this exercise.
1) Use New Grips
Just by changing your grip or hand placement on the bar, you can greatly increase the challenge of the pull-up exercise. And you’ll be able to target different areas of your muscles. So, if you’ve been focusing on pull-ups, try chin-ups for your next training cycle. Or, neutral-grip pull-ups. Here are some ideas for getting started:
- Pull-ups VS Chin-ups: Which Exercise is Better For You?
- 25 Different Kinds of Pull-ups, Chin-ups, and Other Variations
2) Try Gymnastic Rings
Pull-ups on a straight bar are hard enough, but doing them on a set of rings is much harder because it requires a lot more stabilization on your part. You’ll get more overall benefit out of your pull-ups if they’re done on the rings. Working up to a set of 20 solid reps would be a good goal for anyone.
Rings are one of the best all-around strength training tools for the upper body. They’re inexpensive, portable, versatile, and fun. These wooden rings from Rogue Fitness are some of the best you can get.
3) L-Sit Pull-ups
The L-Sit Pull-up is a great way to increase the core challenge of the pull-up exercise, while specifically targeting your abs. They’re tougher than they look, but these progressions will help you master it quickly: L-Sit Pull-ups: 10 Baby Steps to Mastery.
4) Weighted Pull-ups
When pull-ups are too easy, the simplest way to remedy that problem is to add weight. Here’s how to do it safely and effectively: How to do Weighted Pull-ups: Everything You Need To Know About Heavy Pull-up Training.
5) 1-Arm Pull-ups
The 1-Arm Pull-up, or OAP for short, is an extremely advanced calisthenics exercise that will take your upper body strength to new heights. Very few people have the patience to master this movement. But those who do reap excellent results in terms of strength and muscle development.
It’s not for the faint of heart, though. Here are 5 Smart Steps to Your First 1-Arm Pull-up.
6) Practical Pull-ups (i.e. Natural Movement Training)
Most people think of pull-ups and chin-ups as strength training exercises, and they would be right. But when it comes down to it, the pull-up is really just a tiny movement in vast the world of climbing. And since climbing is not only a tremendous strength and fitness enhancer, but also a very practical movement skill to develop, I thought that I’d share this 3-part series showcasing a collection of practical pull-up exercises.
These are a lot of fun:
- Practical Pull-up Exercises – Part 1: Basic Movements & Adaptations
- Practical Pull-up Exercises – Part 2: How to Get Over The Bar Easily
- Practical Pull-up Exercises – Part 3: Traveling Variations
Still working on regular pull-ups and chin-ups?
About The Author
John Sifferman is a health-first fitness coach who has been teaching, coaching, and training people in various capacities since 2006. John is the author of The Pull-up Solution, the complete pull-up and chin-up training system that helps people rapidly increase their pull-up numbers in three months or less.
You can get a free copy of John’s 3-month pull-up training program and download more of his premium pull-up training resource as part of his free 5-day Pull-up Training Crash Course.