Build big arms and back muscles with this 5-minute pull up workout for beginners

Struggling to get started with pull-ups? This fast workout will help you build strength (and arm/back size)

Fit young man doing chin ups
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Pull-ups are notoriously hard to master. It's a shame as this compound exercise is one of the most straightforward and essential workouts you can do to improve muscle definition, increase arm girth, widen your back and burn calories. Want to get started with pull-ups? Try this 5-minute pull-up workout for beginners.

If you're working out at home, you might need a decent pull-up bar to be able to do this upper body workout; we don't recommend using any DIY contraptions as you need proper support when doing pull-ups. You don't want to be worried about falling off from your broom that you propped between two tall wardrobes at home. A quality pull-up bar is all you need, and they are not expensive; just get one.

Once you set it up and are ready to go, click on the video below and follow along with fitness influencer BullyJuice's pull-up workout for beginners. 

Bully Juice's 5-minute pull-up workout for beginners: Exercises

It's in the name: this "5-minute pull-up workout for beginners" is simple and gets the work done in a matter of minutes. You won't look quite as big as the person in the video after one pull-up workout session but if you carry on progressing steadily, it's not impossible to build a physique similar to BullyJuice.

Here is how to split up the workout:

  • Negatives (30 sec) – Hold onto the bar and jump up so your chin is over the bar and slowly release yourself back down to the ground. Make sure you don't bang your head against the bar as you jump up.
  • Dead hang (30 sec)
  • Rest (30 sec)
  • Negatives (30 sec)
  • Dead hang (30 sec)
  • Rest (30 sec)
  • Scap pull-up (30 sec) – Grip the pull-up bar and hang still using your upper back muscles. From here, you want to squeeze the shoulder blades together to lift yourself just a little bit, then descend to the starting position.
  • Rest (30 sec)
  • Scap pull-up (30 sec)
  • Rest (15 sec)
  • Knee tuck hold (30 sec)

If you're struggling with either exercise mentioned above, try using resistance bands to lighten the load on your grip. Resistance bands can also be used to work out your arms and legs, too, making them almost as versatile of home gym equipment as dumbells

Can't hold onto the bar for long enough? You might lack grip strength but thankfully, it's not impossible to improve it: here are the 5 best exercises to increase grip strength.

For those wanting to improve back muscle definition and want to resemble a small truck when looked at from behind, we recommend including deadlifts and kettlebell swings into your workout routine. You can also build back definition with the best lats exercises, best lower back exercises and best back exercises overall.


This feature is part of T3's Get Fit 2022 campaign. We’ll be bringing you a wealth of guides, features, deals and news to help you get healthy, fit and ready for anything the new year can throw at you. Whether you’re a newcomer to fitness or someone with a passion for it, we’ll bring you all the best workouts, diet advice and gear to set you on the right track.

Matt Kollat
Section Editor | Active

Matt Kollat is a journalist and content creator who works for and its magazine counterpart as an Active Editor. His areas of expertise include wearables, drones, fitness equipment, nutrition and outdoor gear. He joined T3 in 2019. His byline appears in several publications, including Techradar and Fit&Well, and more. Matt also collaborated with other content creators (e.g. Garage Gym Reviews) and judged many awards, such as the European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance's ESSNawards. When he isn't working out, running or cycling, you'll find him roaming the countryside and trying out new podcasting and content creation equipment.