T Nation

Elbow Position in the Pull-up

Hi CT,

I wanted your recommendation on how to get better at engaging the Lats during the pull up. I tried seeing a video of you teaching the pull up but couldn’t find it. I did find your videos on teaching the lat pull down but not on pull ups.

I have two questions :

  1. What should be the elbow position while doing the pull up. Should the elbows be more forward and close to the body like in the chin up or they should be flared.

  2. What would be the tips you would want to offer to someone who can’t even do one pull up.

I found this article you had written and the picture of the boy doing machine pull ups. Is his elbow spread really wrong or 100% right at the top ? I think/feel that in this picture the wide grip really causes the biceps to do most of the work. Your 2 cents please ?


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Imagine trying to bring your elbows to your ribs when pulling

Thanks CT. During the course of the pull up should the elbows be more side on or should they be perpendicular to the body ?