How to Get to 20 Pullups Fast


Pullups, in which you hang from a bar, palms facing out, and lift yourself until your chin is above the bar, is particularly difficult because you're fighting gravity to lift your entire body weight with just your upper body. To increase your pullups, you have to strengthen the muscles of your arms, shoulders and chest by doing 25 to 50 pullups over the course of a day, in several sets. While several workouts suggest a series of pullups throughout the day, the 10-day, military-based fitness routine requires arm and core strengthening exercises to increase your progress. Before long, you should be able to do up to 20 pullups in one set.

Things You'll Need

  • Pullup bar
  • Comfortable exercise clothing
  • Dip bar
  • Exercise mat
  • Perform 25 to 50 pullups 3 to 4 days a week for about 10 days, doing as many as you can in sets throughout the day. If you can only perform less than 5 pullups at a time, start with 25 pullups per day and work your way up to 50. Stand under your pullup bar and grip the bar with your palms facing away from you, hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Without using your feet to push off the ground, bend your elbows and lift yourself up until your chin is just above the bar. Slowly lower yourself until your arms are straight. Bend your knees if your feet touch the ground.

  • Perform one set of your maximum amount of pullups on the other 3 to 4 days of the week. Use this time to measure your progress. You should find that you will add to the number of consecutive pullups you can perform. Alternate between this exercise and the exercise of 25 to 50 pullups in one day for 10 days.

  • Perform 20 pushups on the days you do your maximum pullups set. On your exercise mat, lie down on your stomach and push yourself up with your hands. Your palms should be directly under your shoulders and your body should be straight, with only your toes touching your mat. Bend your elbows and lower yourself until your elbows are at a 90-degree angle. Slowly straighten your arms. Repeat 20 times, either consecutively or in two sets of 10.

  • Lie on your exercise mat and perform 30 repetitions of your preferred abdominal exercises on your max-pullup days. Sit-ups are a good choice, as are bicycle crunches or leg raises. Just include some core exercises, which will strengthen your abs and back and help you perform better-form pullups. You can perform consecutive 30-rep ab exercises, two sets of 15 or three sets of 10.

  • Use your dip bar to perform five to 10 dips on your max-pullup days. Stand between your dip bars, arms straight at your sides. Grip the dip bars and bend your knees. For more stability, cross your ankles to keep your feet from moving. Slowly lower yourself by bending your elbows until your arms at a 90-degree angle. Raise yourself until your arms are straight again. Repeat five to 10 times in one or two sets.

  • Rest for 3 to 4 days after completing the 10-day workout. Perform no pullups during this rest period. This will give your muscles time to recover and will allow you to reach your new maximum number of pullups.

  • Do as many pullups as you can after your rest days. Focus on good form and remember not to use your feet to push yourself off the ground. You should be much closer to 20 pullups than when you started, if you haven't already passed the 20-pullup mark.

  • Repeat the entire routine until you have reached your 20-pullup goal.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always consult your doctor before beginning a fitness regime.

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