Negative pull-up

The negative pull-up is a multijoint bodyweight exercise that focuses on just one half of the traditional pull-up: the lowering, eccentric, or "negative" portion. Because muscles are stronger eccentrically than they are concentrically, many people can perform negatives even if they can't perform full pull-ups. For this reason, it is a popular training tool to help people earn their first pull-up rep, or as a back-off exercise after doing full pull-ups.


  1. Builds strength and muscle in the back, biceps, and core that carries over to full pull-ups
  2. Requires no equipment other than a bar
  3. Can be done instead of pull-ups or after pull-up training
  4. Many coaches feel negatives are more effective than banded pull-ups or a machine assisted pull-up at building pull-up strength

Negative pull-up Images


Negative pull-up Instructions

Negative pull-up muscle diagram
  1. Standing under a bar, or on a box if necessary, jump up, grabbing the bar with a slightly wider than shoulder-width grip. Using the momentum from your jump, pull yourself upwards until your chin is above the bar. This is your starting position.
  2. Slowly lower yourself, keeping a tight core and focus on the lats. Allow your arms to slowly extend as you inch closer to the ground. Aim for 3 to 5 seconds until your arms are fully extended.
  3. Upon reaching full extension, let go of the bar and return to the ground.
  4. Repeat for recommended number of repetitions.