Eccentric pull ups




  • Moderate

Muscles Involved

  • Biceps
  • Chest
  • Lats
  • Shoulders


  • Climbing wall
  • Hangboard

Remark or addition


The pull up works your upper back muscles, lats and biceps. It's a challenging, effective exercise you can perform using just a pull up bar. Many people struggle initially when attempting pull ups. If this is the case, introduce negative pull ups into your routine, until you can manage full pull ups. The lowering phase of an exercise is known as the eccentric phase, so a negative pull up is an eccentric exercise.

  • Start with your chin over the bar (with the help of a person pushing you or a step-up) and descend as slowly as possible, so your arms are not fully straightened until 10 seconds have elapsed.
  • Do 3 sets of 5 repetitions.

Points of attention

  • Negative pull ups, force you to use all your stabilizing muscles, so try recruiting your core and abs to help stabilize your torso and midsection.
  • In the lowering phase, try not to sink into your shoulders but keep them active to protect your 'rotator cuffs".

Progression Ladder

Negative pull ups are one of the best ways to learn full pull ups.Slowly build up the time of you lowering your body and work your way up to 20 seconds. Once you can do a 20-second negative pull up, you should be able to perform at least one standard unassisted pull up.