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Modified Pull Up

May 16, 2023 | Joel Runyon

Pull Ups are one of the most important upper back and arm exercises you can perform. However, most beginners find that even a single Pull Up of their body weight to be too much of a challenge. Or, they can only perform 1-2 reps before maxing out. This is where the Modified Pull Up comes in.

By utilizing a resistance band, the added pulling motion assists your arms and back allowing for more reps and more muscle growth to perform the Pull Up on your own.

How to do a Modified Pull Up

Start with a rubber resistance band securely wrapped around a pull up bar with a large loop hanging down to about the height of your chest. Make sure that the band is properly attached so it can hold your weight and not come undone.

Place a stool or box beneath the bar, step up, raise one of your knees, and insert it into the hanging loop of the resistance band. There should be some upwards “pull” and tightness to the band once you have done this. If the band is too loose, adjust it to be tighter, or it won’t perform the assist motion you need to pull yourself up to the bar.

Your other leg should still be resting on the box below you. Now grab the bar above your head with both palms facing away from your body and shoulder-width apart.

Take a deep breath and pull your chin up to just above the bar, exhaling as you do so. Pause at the top and in a controlled manner, lower yourself back down so your arms are almost completely extended. The resistance band should be aiding you by lifting some of your body weight up with it so you can perform the movement adequately.

Tips for Modified Pull Ups

Do not swing or try to jerk your body upwards as you perform the Pull Up. Keep your torso and legs as controlled as possible.

Modified Pullup Video Demonstration

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Joel Runyon

Joel is the founder of IMPOSSIBLE® and MoveWell. In addition to free fitness resources on Impossible Fitness - you can buy performance apparel and supplements on