Five Pull-Up Variations for Climbers


If your local gym is still closed, or if you just don’t feel comfortable going out, pull-ups are a great way to stay fit at home. Here are five pull-up variations to work different muscles and keep things interesting! Remember to always engage your shoulders.


Pull-Up: Get more out of the classic pull-up by focusing on form—keep your shoulders engaged, squeeze your core and, for best results, aim to touch your chest to the bar. If pull-ups are something you struggle with, try mastering negatives first, which involve using a box to start in the “up” position and focusing on the eccentric (lowering) portion of the exercise.

Wide Pull-Up: With your hands one-and-a-half-shoulder widths apart, hang from the bar or hangboard with your shoulders engaged. Slowly—no kipping!—lift your chin above the bar. Wide pull-ups are great for developing lats and the strength necessary for burlier moves.

Chin-Up: Don’t scoff! Just because you’re a climber doesn’t make you too good for the chin-up. And if this exercise brings up nightmarish memories of P.E. and fitness tests, take comfort in the fact that climbing has prepared you to be stronger than you ever were before. Chin-ups are more bicep-intensive and may help power through underclings.

L-Sit Pull-Up: Perform a regular pull-up but have your legs straight out in front of you. Your body should look like a “L.” Sorry, this exercise is harder than it looks. But your abs will thank you when you’re trying to keep your feet on that tensiony roof boulder.

Typewriters: Typewriters are great for working on one-arm lock-off strength. In fact, if doing a one-arm is your goal, this is a great exercise to start with.



Also Read

Let’s Go to the Bar!

Climbing Saved My Life

  • Based out of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Favia Dubyk is an avid boulderer that loves training, particularly hangboarding. Dubyk became obsessed with training after conquering advanced stage cancer. She had to undergo multiple surgeries and months of chemotherapy that wrecked her body. Focused and intense training helped her regain her confidence and strength. Now she especially enjoys learning new exercises and sharing them with others! Outside of climbing, Dubyk is a physician at the University of New Mexico, where she practices pathology. She also enjoys photography---often capturing images of her rottweiler-doberman dog, five cats, and her mountain-biking husband, Brian, during their many adventures in the Southwest.

    • Show Comments

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    comment *

    • name *

    • email *

    • website *


    You May Also Like

    Adam Ondra #59: Quarantine / Mock Bouldering Competition

        Despite the current situation, we keep producing new episodes every week by ...

    How Much Should You Train?

    One of the oldest axioms in the training book is that under-resting is the ...

    Training Climbing Power Endurance – 3 Common Mistakes

    Lattice Training talks pacing, grip type and body position and how we can manipulate ...

    Get our latest stories, gear, training, and videos in your inbox every week.

    I would like to receive emails from: