Narrow Grip Pullups

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Narrow Grip Pullups

Home Pullup Lat Workout

Narrow grip pullups are an awesome exercise that work lats, biceps, shoulders and forearms. You can do them at home or at the gym.   For most people, narrow grip pullups are much easier than the classic overhand pullup.  If you still have trouble doing these, please see my How To Do Your First Pullup page.  For you really strong advanced folks, we will get to your techniques in a bit but first, lets talk basics.

Form of the Narrow Grip Pullup

Good form elements of the narrow grip pullup

  1. Elbows as close together as possible, dont let them flail outward
  2. Go up until your nose is even with your hands then down till your arms are straight but not locked.
  3. Slow, steady motion.  No kipping, swinging, or kicking.
  4. Keep the shoulders packed the entire time, no going into a dead hang.


Pullup form, no dead hang

No dead hang! Dont let your shoulders come up to your ears!

Bad Form, Kung-Fu Pullup

No kipping

Bad Form, Kipping Pullup

No swinging or kicking.


Advanced Versions of Narrow Grip Pullup

Weighted narrow grip pullup

Use dumbbell held between thighs for additional resistance

If you find these narrow grip pullups too easy, here are two awesome variations.  No matter how strong you are, you can be humbled by the basic pullup if you hold a dumbbell between your legs for additional resistance as shown here.  Its somewhat of a trick to get into position.  If you are using lifting straps, put those on.  Put the handle somewhere within reach.  Now pick up the dumbbell and put it between your thighs and give it a death squeeze to hold it in position, you will be able to relax in a second.  Now put the narrow grip handle over the pullup bar and fasten your wrist straps.  Pull yourself up and bend your knees 90 degrees.  Now loosen the grip on the dumbbell and let it slide down until it touches your calves.  It is now in a stable and easy to hold position.

Lat And Ab Narrow Grip Pullup

Hold legs horizontal for a killer ab and lat workout!

Another killer variation of the narrow grip pullup is done with the legs held perfectly straight and horizontal with the toes pointed.  This not only works the abs intensely but makes the pullup much more difficult as well. Give it a try!