Perfect Your Pull

By Marta Ustyanich
Lead Photo Of Jessica Renee By Michael Neveux

For those who can’t hoist themselves over the bar just yet, you have a few options to help you build up to this quintessential move. Take your pick, or use a combination of these to help you pull it off in no time at all.

Assisted Pull-Up Machine

This machine counterbalances your weight to make the move easier — the higher the weight, the easier it becomes, so gauge an appropriate resistance based on your ability.

Spotter or Resistance Band

Either of these options will help support your body weight. For the latter, loop the resistance band securely around the pull-up bar and perform the move with one or two knees in the band; keep in mind that the thicker the band, the more suppor t it will provide you with.

Body-Weight Rows

On a Smith machine, adjust the bar height (the lower the bar, the harder the move), lie under it , and grab it with an overhand grip, with your legs extended and body in a straight line at about 45 degrees to the ground. Row yourself up until your chin clears the bar. Slowly extend your arms to lower your body.

Negative reps

This places the emphasis on the eccentric por tion of the move as you lower yourself down from the top position. Jump up or use a step to bring your chin over the bar, then lower yourself down with control.

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