What Are Adverse Pull Ups & How Do You Do Them?

It is no secret that doing a pull-up is among the many prime fitness center bucket checklist workouts, however it may be daunting for a brand-new fitness center goer.

Whereas pull-ups are a cool-looking demonstration of energy, they are often barely intimidating. Usually folks assume they can not do one, so that they by no means try and study the ability. 

Sure, a pull-up is difficult, nevertheless it’s not unattainable. You simply should comply with a strategic development plan. In case you’re caught and need assistance determining the place to start, unfavourable pull-ups are an excellent place to start out. And fortunate for you, we’re about to go over them. 

The truth is, we’re about to debate them intimately, so you’ve gotten a agency grasp of learn how to carry out and program them. Let the pull ups start!

Desk of Contents:

  • What Are Adverse Pull Ups?
  • Common Pull-ups vs. Assisted Pull-ups vs. Adverse Pull-ups: What’s The Distinction?
  • Adverse Pull-ups Muscle tissue Labored
  • Advantages Of Adverse Pull Up
  • How To Do Adverse Pull Ups
  • Widespread Adverse Pull-up Errors
  • Who Ought to And Ought to Not Do A Adverse Pull Up
  • Adverse Pull-up Progressions
  • Programming Adverse Pull-ups And A Pattern Exercise
  • FAQs

what are negative pull ups

What Is A Adverse Pull Up?

Okay, so if a pull-up is pulling your self up whereas hanging from a bar, what’s a unfavourable pull-up?

The unfavourable pull-up refers back to the reducing portion or eccentric of the pull-up. To do them, you may bounce upward to start out together with your chin excessive of the bar after which slowly decrease down below management. 

Through the eccentric portion, the muscle lengthens as a substitute of shortening, permitting it to face up to a better load. Sluggish eccentrics construct extra muscle and enhance muscular energy greater than concentric contractions1

For instance, in the event you carried out a one-rep max on a bench press, you’ll discover a weight you might management and press up as soon as in your greatest day. In case you have been to take that very same weight and slowly decrease down whereas a spotter assisted you on the best way up, you might do it a number of instances. That is the great thing about eccentrics!

The identical rule applies to pull-ups. In case you concentrate on controlling the unfavourable and getting stronger there, you may be in your solution to having the ability to pull your self up. 

Common Pull-Ups vs Assisted Pull Ups vs Negatives: What is the Distinction?

Whereas these would possibly look much like the untrained eye, they’re all pull-up variations with completely different functions.

Do not forget that a pull-up is a body weight train and a ability. This implies there’s a checklist of progressions to comply with so that you can carry out one rep. Relying in your health, you would possibly begin firstly of that development system or someplace nearer to the top aim. 

Assisted and unfavourable pull-ups are important steps alongside that development towards your first pull-up. The cool factor about these is that they continue to be helpful as soon as you are able to do a pull-up. You do not have to desert them, however your makes use of will change barely. 

Assisted Pull Ups

negative pull ups benefits

Assisted pull-ups utilizing a machine or a band could have you counting on an exterior stimulus that will help you carry out the reps. The definition is within the title. They help you on the best way up.

As the best variation, these are an excellent place to begin if you cannot do pull-ups. Not solely do you construct confidence every time you pull your self up, you construct energy, coordination, and physique management to organize you for the subsequent step. 

Adverse Pull Ups

negative pull-up

The following step is the unfavourable pull-up. This variation will likely be nearer to the true deal as a result of there isn’t a extra help from something. You and your muscle tissues are getting stronger to regulate it on the best way down.

The vary of movement is smaller right here since you are not pulling your self up, however keep in mind that strengthening that eccentric will do extra for you than an assisted pull up2. Increase your time below rigidity on the best way down will construct critical energy in your pulling muscle tissues. 

Normal Pull Ups

negative pull up

Lastly, the pull-up is the holy grail of body weight workouts and the top aim you have been chasing. However simply since you do your first rep doesn’t suggest it’s a must to cease doing the opposite two variations.

You will want to proceed to construct energy to do extra reps, so after your customary pull-up units, it is nonetheless an excellent concept to carry out negatives and assisted pull-ups. 

Adverse Pull Ups Muscle tissue Labored

With regards to the pull-up, you’ll work nearly the whole lot in your higher physique, together with:

  • Latissimus dorsi (lats)
  • Trapezius
  • Rear delts
  • Teres main and minor
  • Infraspinatus
  • Rhomboids
  • Biceps
  • Pectoralis main
  • Erector spinae
  • Rectus abdominis
  • Transverse abdominis
  • Forearms

To simplify, the pull-up will hit the whole lot in your again and assist construct some superior weapons and forearms. It is the definition of a compound train and why the pull-up is so efficient. All in all, it is unimaginable for bettering your higher physique energy.

So is there any distinction in muscle tissues labored when doing a unfavourable pull-up? You may work nearly all of the identical muscle tissues, however curiously, EMG research present that throughout the eccentric portion, the lats, biceps, triceps, and erector spinae are extra energetic than the concentric portion3.

What does this imply? It means you’ll get stronger doing the unfavourable, and your muscle tissues will develop.

You may discover the principle distinction is the triceps’ additional activation since they resist the lockout of your elbow throughout the reducing portion. This train might not construct horseshoe triceps, however it’s going to strengthen them. 

6 Advantages Of Adverse Pull Ups

Beneath are a few of the prime advantages of this standout upper-body train. On the lookout for extra nice pull-up advantages? Try our article: What Are The Advantages Of Pull-Ups?

1) Improves Grip energy:

The very first thing to doubtless fail, significantly if they are not robust sufficient to help your physique as you hold from the bar, will likely be your palms and forearms.

Adverse pull-ups will strengthen these areas in order that your physique can provide your again muscle tissues an opportunity to work. The grip is the primary hyperlink within the chain that controls the whole lot behind it throughout this train, and the slower you’ll be able to decrease your self down, the stronger you may get. 

2) Gateway to pull-ups:

There may be nothing like progressing via a body weight ability train.

Doing unfavourable pull-ups is only one step on the trail earlier than you are able to do an unassisted pull-up. Not solely does this construct energy, nevertheless it additionally builds confidence as you see your self reaching completely different progressions.

3) Builds muscle:

As we talked about, engaged on the eccentric portion of an train does a unbelievable job of constructing muscle and constructing energy.

You additionally noticed what number of muscle tissues this train works in your higher physique. It is protected to say that in the event you add these into your programming, you’ll construct some critical slabs of muscle. 

4) Improves physique management and coordination:

It might sound easy to leap up, hold from the bar, and slowly decrease your self down. However after making an attempt it a couple of instances, you may discover how squirmy and uncontrolled your physique feels once you ask it to remain nonetheless and decrease slowly.

Doing unfavourable pull-ups will train physique consciousness and enhance your capacity to take care of your place throughout the train. 

5) Transfers to different lifts:

You will note advantages from this carryover into completely different workouts, corresponding to deadlifts and all rowing variations.

Not solely does it strengthen the higher physique muscle tissues for pulling, however do not forget concerning the upside to having a stronger grip. The stronger your palms and forearms are, the extra weight you’ll be able to management.

6) Newbie pleasant:

You is probably not prepared for a pull-up but, however the wonderful thing about unfavourable pull-ups is that they’re a superb choice for nearly everybody wanting o construct muscle mass and energy.

Whether or not you’re model new or a seasoned vet, unfavourable pull-ups have a spot in your program.

How To Do A Adverse Pull Up With Correct Kind

You may must concentrate on a couple of issues to take care of management throughout the reducing, so try our how-to!

When setting as much as carry out your unfavourable pull-ups, if you cannot bounce up from the ground, place a field or step that will help you get in place.

  • Place your bench/field beneath the pull-up bar so you’ll be able to stand and attain it. Seize the pull-up bar with an overhand grip (palms going through away out of your physique) barely wider than shoulder-width aside. 
  • If you cannot fairly pull your self up over the bar, you will want to do a small bounce that will help you stand up into place. Leap and pull your physique up till your chin is above the bar. Squeeze your butt tight like you’re pinching a penny between your cheeks. You’ll be able to straighten your legs when you have sufficient room. In any other case, you’ll be able to bend them at a 90-degree angle together with your toes behind you. 
  • Protecting your shoulder blades pulled again and tucked down towards your backbone, keep an additional tight grip, slowly decrease down, and let your arms straighten. Concentrate on conserving full physique rigidity and never letting your physique swing ahead or backward. At first, you have to be aiming for 3-5 seconds on the best way down. 
  • End the rep together with your arms straight in a lifeless hold. Pause for a second in the event you can, then head again to the beginning place on the field and repeat for indicated reps and units. 

Widespread Adverse Pull-Up Errors to Keep away from

In case you’re simply getting began with performing unfavourable pull-ups, be sure to be careful for these errors.

  • Decreasing too quick: This could by no means really feel like a free fall to the underside of the rep. Guarantee you’re reducing as slowly as attainable, otherwise you will not get the advantages you are chasing. If you cannot decrease slowly, it’s possible you’ll want to start out with lifeless hangs or assisted pull-ups till your energy builds. Keep in mind, that is solely a step within the development.
  • Free core: Your physique will need to swing ahead and backward like Tarzan swinging from a vine. To ensure this does not occur, preserve your butt and hips tight, legs engaged, and both straight or tucked behind you at a 90-degree angle together with your knees proper under your hips. 

Who Ought to Do a Adverse Pull-Up?

Do not forget that a unfavourable pull-up is one step towards performing a standard pull-up and different pull up variations. This train is unbelievable for everybody, nevertheless it has a particular use for individuals who have been performing assisted pull-ups and can’t fairly but do a pull-up on their very own.

On prime of that, it nonetheless has a spot for those who can do common pull-ups. It may be used after ending as many body weight reps as attainable or as a weighted choice to assist construct that eccentric energy. 

Who Should not Do a Adverse Pull-Up?

As a substitute of desirous about who ought to by no means do a unfavourable pull-up, consider it as who should not do one but.

In case you’re model new to any kind of pull-up, keep away from this motion till you’ve gotten practiced some assisted pull-ups. That and lifeless hangs will likely be an excellent place to begin till your physique builds extra energy. 

As well as, these 13 Pull Up Options will assist you to work the identical muscle teams till you are able to carry out the unfavourable pull up.

2 Adverse Pull-Up Progressions

As talked about, this ability gives plenty of progressions that will help you grasp it. Whether or not you are simply in search of selection or need alternate methods to construct your again, listed here are some frequent unfavourable pull-up progressions.

Along with these 2 progressions, it’s also possible to make the unfavourable pull up tougher by throwing on a weighted vest and performing a weighted unfavourable pull upTo seek out one of the best vest for you, try: Your Information To Shopping for A Weight Vest: Sorts, Sizes, Makes use of, And Extra.

1) Full pull ups:

When you’re robust sufficient, add within the concentric portion and pull your self up earlier than reducing again down once more. Normal pull-ups are probably the greatest compound workouts you are able to do, and it is what you have been working onerous to attain.

Find out how to do Pull Ups:

  • Attain up and seize the bar with an overhand grip and barely wider than shoulder-width aside.
  • Begin in a lifeless hold together with your arms straight. Tighten your palms, retract your shoulder blades, and drive your elbows down whereas conserving your core tight till your chin is above the bar.
  • Pause for a second on the prime after which slowly decrease again down with out swinging ahead or backward. Make certain to squeeze your butt and hips tight. 
  • As soon as your arms are totally straightened, repeat for indicated reps and units. 

2) Pause pull-ups:

Pause pull-ups are a calisthenics trick to make a body weight train harder earlier than including weight. As a substitute of simply shifting up and down, you’ll pause midway up, on the prime, and midway all the way down to construct energy and management.

Find out how to do Pause Pull Ups:

  • Attain up and seize the pull-up bar with an overhand grip and palms barely wider than shoulder-width aside.
  • Ranging from a lifeless hold, slowly pull your self up in direction of the bar. As soon as you’re midway, pause for 2-3 seconds earlier than persevering with to tug up. 
  • Upon getting your chin over the bar, pause for 2-3 seconds earlier than reducing down and pausing midway once more. Decrease till your arms are straight, after which repeat for indicated reps. 

Programing Adverse Pull Ups

Everybody’s programming will differ barely based mostly on their objectives, health stage, time, and damage historical past.

For probably the most half, again muscle tissues are skilled twice per week since they’re an even bigger muscle group. Which means you are able to do unfavourable pull-ups on every of your pull/again days.

It would be best to do them first, as they are going to be powerful to do below fatigue. Shoot for 5 separate reps with a 3-5 second unfavourable in case you are model new. From there, you’ll be able to work towards 3-5 units of 10-15 second negatives earlier than progressing to pull-ups. 

Pattern Adverse Pull-Up Exercise Routine

Here is only one approach you’ll be able to work unfavourable pull-ups into your coaching program. This can be a nice routine for again day.




Band Pull Aparts



Adverse Pull-Ups (reps=seconds)



Single Arm DB Row



Lat Pulldowns



Assisted Pull-Up Machine



Inverted Body weight Rows




Let’s dig in to a few of the extra continuously requested questions.

What number of unfavourable pull-ups ought to I do?

It is determined by your energy stage and expertise, however intention for five reps with a 3-5 second unfavourable as a place to begin. From there, you’ll be able to add reps and go till you’ve gotten 1-2 extra left within the tank, or proceed with one other development.

Do unfavourable pull ups construct again muscle tissues?

Sure, negatives can construct your again muscle tissues simply as a lot as a full pull-up so long as you’re difficult your self.

What number of unfavourable pull-ups equal one pull-up?

Whereas there is not any actual science, if you are able to do a number of units of 5+ negatives with a 10-second eccentric reducing portion, it is likely to be time to check your concentric pull-up.

Are you able to get a six pack by doing pull-ups?

No, you will not get a six pack solely from pull-ups. Nevertheless, pull-ups are a few of the greatest indicators of relative energy, AKA how robust you’re in comparison with your physique weight. Due to this fact, as you get leaner and stronger, you’ll do extra pull-ups. Lean physique composition can result in a six pack, however abs are primarily made within the kitchen. For recommendations on learn how to get a six pack, try The Final Reducing Exercise & Food regimen Plan.

Get Began With Adverse Pull-Ups

It doesn’t matter what stage you’re beginning at, there’s a development that may assist you to. Pull-ups ought to really feel rather a lot much less scary now that there’s a plan to succeed in the ultimate vacation spot.

Adverse pull-ups are an excellent choice that prepares you to finish a pull-up and strengthens your pulling muscle tissues and core. As your confidence grows, so will your energy, and you will be nearer every session to performing that first pull-up. 

Prepared to start your pull-up journey? Head to our Final Pull Up Development Plan to get began!

negative pull ups muscles worked


  1. Franchi MV, Reeves ND, Narici MV. Skeletal Muscle Reworking in Response to Eccentric vs. Concentric Loading: Morphological, Molecular, and Metabolic Variations. Frontiers in Physiology. 2017;8. doi:10.3389/fphys.2017.00447
  2. Prinold JAI, Bull AMJ. Scapula kinematics of pull-up strategies: Avoiding impingement danger with coaching modifications. Journal of Science and Drugs in Sport. 2016. doi:10.1016/j.jsams.2015.08.002
  3. Doma Ok, Deakin GB, Ness KF. Kinematic and electromyographic comparisons between chin-ups and lat-pull down workouts. Sports activities Biomechanics. 2013. doi:10.1080/14763141.2012.760204

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