A lot of us are more than halfway through my Strength Guide and still pushing through mastering those pull-ups! Something I want everyone to know is that pull-up journeys can be long. For most of us, it’ll take months and months and months to master just one pull-up, so please don’t feel discouraged if you’re not seeing a ton of progress these first few weeks. The best you can do to progress is continue pushing yourself and building your upper body strength over time. I posted this reel with my top tips on how to increase your strength and muscle memory to improve your pull-ups. I thought it would be helpful if I broke those tips down even more here šŸ™‚ Let me know what has helped you the most. For me, it’s being able to practice assisted pull-ups with Rec Sweat Power Bands (I prefer medium as there’s more resistance to assist, but light is great to progress to after you’ve mastered pull-ups with the medium).


Start wrapping the power band around the bar and looping it around so that it’s secure. Grab hold of the power band with each hand, and move to a kneeling position. Pull the band down until your elbows graze your sides, then release your arms long with control to the starting position. Over time, increase difficulty by moving to the medium power band! Snag the Recreation Sweat Power Bundle for a light and medium power band option.

Banded pull-downs are also a great modification if you find yourself without a bar!


One of the best ways to increase strength and muscle memory for pull-ups is through negatives, or focusing on the descent. You can practice negatives a few different ways:

  • Adjust the bar to chest height and sit under it, reach your hands up and grab on about shoulder-width apart. As you pull-up, allow your booty to lift off the ground while keeping your heels in the same position. From the top, hold and engage your upper-back muscles before lowering down slowly and intentionally.
  • Grab a chair or box, slightly off center of the bar, to help you grab the bar at about chest height. Make your way to the top of a pull-up, and hold to engage before slowly lowering. Set up by standing on the chair/box each round.

ASSISTED (with a jump)

With the light and medium power bands from the Power Bundle, you can take your time progressing through assisted pull-ups. I highly recommend starting with the medium power band for more support. Wrap it around the bar and loop to secure it in place. Prepare a chair or box under the bar for support and to step up to be able to reach the bar. Wrap the bottom of the band around one foot, and stand on the chair or box. Use your free foot to hop off the box and propel yourself to the top of your pull-up. At the top, hold and engage before slowly lowering down and repeating. Once you’ve mastered the movement with the medium power band, start working with the light to make it a little more challenging.

ASSISTED (strict)

After trying all the above variations, it’s time for a strict assisted pull-up. ‘Strict’ means no jumping and no momentum. Start by looping the band around the bar and securing it in place. Loop the bottom of the band around one foot, reach for the bar and start by hanging (keeping your core, glutes and thighs pulling toward your center). As you start your pull-ups, engage the outside of your upper back and drive your elbows down toward your hips, keeping your shoulders away from your ears. Try not to swing or jump at all, moving totally within a controlled range of motion.

Hoping these tips help! xx

Welcome! Iā€™m Rachael.

I enjoy sharing my love for food and fitness. I'm a registered dietitian, certified personal trainer, and a New York Times Bestselling author. Here you'll find all kinds of recipes and kitchen hacks, as well as workouts and fitness motivation. Enjoy! ā€” xx Rachael

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