This Pullup Variation Will Help You Master the Bar

Whether you can crank out a dozen strict pullups in a row or are working to get over the bar for the first time, you can do this pullup variation from celebrity trainer Don Saladino, NASM, and it will make you stronger.

Called a “negative” or “eccentric” pullup, you’re focusing on the downward part of the exercise—the part that you probably don’t think of when you envision a pullup. You’ll get your chest up to the bar, and then ever-so-slowly lower yourself down, maintaining control and total-body tension as you do. Just like regular pullups, you’ll work your lats, core, and arms. But instead of focusing on pulling with those muscles, making them shorten, negatives hammer them as they lengthen under tension.

After all, your muscles are strongest as they move eccentrically, which makes negatives great for guys of all experience levels. Still, negatives can be challenging and will make your muscles quake. You’ll spend an exceptional amount of time with your muscles under tension. The more slowly you lower with each rep, the greater the challenge. You may also notice extra post-exercise soreness with this variation, since eccentric contractions are a main driver behind DOMS.

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Want to try out more exercises and workouts from Saladino? Check out his Men’s Health Superhero Shred program, which is designed with the same principles he uses to get his star clients in shape. You can also find Saladino’s program, alongside a ton of other fitness content, on our new All Out Studio streaming app.

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