If the idea of doing 15 pullups or more unbroken seems daunting to you, this is the video you need to watch. I’m going to show you the 6 biggest pull-up mistakes that people make that holds them back from reaching their true potential on this amazing back exercise.

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Doing more pullups is something that almost everyone wishes they could do. Not only is it an amazing bodyweight exercise that can be done with just a pull-up bar, but it is one that can produce muscle size and strength gains that are on par with almost any barbell back exercise.

The problem is, when you are making the common pullup mistakes that I cover here, there’s no way you can get as much out of the movement as is possible. So with that said, let’s start fixing the errors that people make on pullups.

First, you need to setup for the exercise properly.

Many people position themselves directly under the bar and simply pull straight up and down. This is not correct since it creates too much looseness in the upper body, particularly the scapula. In order to create the necessary rigidity in your upper body to transfer power and strength more effectively, you need to not just think about pulling down into the bar but pushing your body back and away a bit.

What this does is creates lat engagement in much the same way that doing a straight arm pushdown would. This will immediately put the forearms and biceps into a secondary role of driving the ascent and lets the lats, the more powerful of the muscles of the upper body, get front and center to do the job. Once you’ve done this right and felt what it is supposed to feel like, you’ll never do a pullup any other way.

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Next, you have to focus on the position of your elbows during the exercise. They should never point directly out to your side if doing a lot of pull-ups is your goal. Instead, they should point forward at about a 45 degree angle. This is called the scapular plane. It is in this plane that the shoulders not only function more safely but your lats are more engaged in the exercise since they are placed in a slight stretch.

If you were to be viewed from the side, someone should be able to see your elbows peeking out in front of the squat rack or cage that you are performing the pull-ups in. If they cannot, it means that they are too much in the frontal plane and this will lower your total unbroken pullups count.

Next, you have to address any lack of tightness in your entire body if you want to do max pullup reps in a single set. This comes in the form of fixing what I call, energy leaks. Every bit of the force you generate down into the bar must be preserved with little loss if you want to increase your pullups as much as possible. This means that you have to straighten your knees by contracting your quads, point your toes by flexing your calves, tighten the abs and squeeze the glutes to limit swing and loss of total body tension.

When all of these things are done properly, your pullup form is perfect and your ability to fly up over the bar on every single rep will be greatly improved.

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Next, you need to focus on your grip. Avoid a narrow grip since this will just place more of the load on the muscles of the forearms which are not capable of lifting your bodyweight as well as your lats. In addition, the direction of the force you are applying through your hands matters. Don’t just think of pulling down into the bar, but together as well.

Think about squeezing your hands in towards each other and down at the same time.

This will engage the muscles of the chest which are also adductors along with the lats and will help to assist you in lifting your body over the bar.

Next, avoid caving in your chest as you pull up to the top. This often happens when someone is struggling to perform a rep as they fatigue. Don’t allow this. Instead, target the bar with your sternum by reaching up with your chest as you ascend. Think about bowing out your chest and arching your back a bit to ensure that the body doesn’t cave backwards, making the exercise harder.

Finally, don’t forget to train with weights. Increasing your pullups should never be your sole focus on the exercise. If you want to do more unbroken pullups, or even 15 straight reps or more, then you need to train with weighted pullups as well.

If you’re looking for a complete program that will help you do this, head to athleanx.com via the link above to get our Pull Up or Shut Up program. Train smart, train hard, train like an athlete and start looking like one now.

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36 thoughts on “How to Do 15 PULLUPS OR MORE in a Row (GUARANTEED!)”
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    1. @Pippi FPV Do they actually ever give out codes or is this essentially false advertising? 🙁

    2. Any suggestions to keep me safe with abdominal hernia? I still want to exercise, but have to be careful with anything that causes internal pressure.

    1. Mountain biking injury messed up my lap now I’m unable to do many used to love banging them out with a plate hanging

    2. @Gytis Pranskunas if you think lat pull-downs hit your back better I’m sure those will work. If you can kick out 18 pull-ups you should be doing weighted ones. If nothing works it’s probably just a poor mind muscle connection.

  2. Always good advice. You’re my go to guy when I need to study technique.

  3. I’m stuck at 6-8 with pull-ups, even with all these tips. But they are what helped me to get there in the first place, so great advice, as always.

    1. My max is 16 but I tried that last year. Haven’t tried it since then. Keep grinding. Gotta probably throw in some negatives, weighted and maybe some pyramids and ladders… I’m hoping to hit 20 next time I try

    2. you might lack pulling strength where you feel every pull up is relatively hard to get to the top and thus you are simply building strength endurance or you aren’t fully recovered, so you might need more rest days than you think. i was stuck on 8 pull ups in a row for a year, but as soon as I rested more than 2-3 days between my full-body workouts and took 4 days rest consistently instead and focussed on strength with a 5×3 on weighted pull ups, once i got to 24kg pull ups, bodyweight felt light and easy and i could do 6 easily for a warm up, its been working ever since

      ive come up with my own theory that you have one opportunity for the 1st adaptation to an exercise which occurs after 4 days of rest and you must do everything you can (e.g sleep decently 7/9 hrs a night, eat right) to ensure consistent progress, then if you are overtrained, you have a 2nd opportunity of adaptation after 8 days of rest and this will remove any fatigue, i dont know if this is true, but it seems to be for me at least

      i think you were able to achieve these 8 pull ups in a row because it is not requiring too much strength and so you dont need to be FULLY recovered as you are doing something light and if you were fully recovered you could add maybe 1 or more reps every time, depending on how light the exercise is. pull ups are hard and i have found i can only improve by 1 rep when fully recovered

      a mistake ive made is doing explosive weighted pull ups and whilst my strength has continued to increase, the weight would go airborne and then smack back down and it has caused me to feel a horrible feeling in my arms, so please dont do them explosively, but with a controlled fast-ish speed

    3. there is a video by Renaissance Periodization adressing your issue. I believe it’s called “do more pullups now”

    4. @Youssef Abara Akdi I do a good amount but mainly weighted. I haven’t been doing regular ones lately. Gonna start going no weights soon.

  4. As a pullup enthusiast I approve this video. Once you get your technique right, the next step is the “mind to muscle connection”. I can’t really describe it in words, let alone in writing so I’ll just say this – don’t just pull, but PULL!

    1. Follow the fibers. Know the way your Lats are formed. For me, when I learned this, that pull became envisioning having my elbows follow the arc of the range of motion of my lats. It took a while for my rep count to come back up, but at least they look clean af now.

  5. Methodically, what helped me progress to 20 is to frequently test my max and quality resting, rather than doing high volume pyramids or ‘grease the groove’. But the thing about pullups is, you can ask 100 people about what’s working for them and you get 90 contradicting answers.

    1. I’m trying to hit 20. Most was 16 but I think I could of got at least 17-18. But this was about a year ago. Maybe I need to test my max more often

  6. Thanks for the tips.. really helped me a lot.. I am over 230lbs, so I also use a resistance band to help me out

  7. I have been following you for years and your videos and advice have really helped me out a lot. Now I’m not mister perfect or even close to it but your videos have helped me increase my strength and stamina significantly. Thank bro.

  8. 4 months post op from labrum surgery and working on getting pull ups back. I’m at 2-3 right but will definitely use this and hopefully see some improvements in the next couple months

  9. 1:10 Slightly Lean back instead of straight vertical
    1:50 Pull in Scapula plane instead of Frontal plane
    2:45 Plug energy leak
    4:10 Grip ~Shoulder width, Pull in & down
    5:30 Bar to sternum, Thoracic Extension
    6:35 Add weight, drop set

  10. I’m good at pull-ups. Up to 20 in a row but tip number 4 was new to me! Thanks for the video. Always watching to see how I can improve.

  11. I’m almost 43 and i can get 21. I use a reverse C body style (2:45) wIth my feet out in front of me and my glutes and abs clenched. Jeff is right. It works.

  12. I used to perform 14-16 pull-ups at the beginning of this year. After 2 months of the 100 back workout, I’m easily doing 22 reps. Once I did 25. I’m commenting even before watching this video, but I’m sure this will work, cause you have solid credit.

  13. Last time I had pullups in my training about 3 years ago. On Saturday i decide to start this exercise and reach my peak (17 reps). And today Athlean-X gave me video 🙂 Thanks!

  14. Love love love this video! Also I cannot emphasize enough the importance of negatives, and isometrics once you reach fatigue!

  15. i used to be able to do 12 reps in a row, now i’m struggling to get 10. the main reason is i had been avoiding pull-ups for a few months after an injury to my left hand. i’ve been meaning to take a step back and re-evaluate my technique. this video drops just in time. thanks Jeff!

  16. Great video. I love how you keep the science in the workouts. Always teaching to work smarter while pushing yourself harder.

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