We’ve made it to the third week of the 12 Minute Athlete Fall Pull Up Challenge!

If you didn’t see our announcement post for the challenge, be sure to go back and read it here, and make sure to check out Week 1 and Week 2 of the challenge. This challenge is mostly meant for absolute beginners who can’t do pull ups yet—if you can already do a few and have plateaued or need ideas on how to keep progressing, you’ll find our pull up course helpful.

During the next four weeks, we’ll be focusing specifically on upper body and core strength. Both are crucial for getting your first pull up or chin up.

Work hard and have fun!

For the third week of the challenge, we’ll be combining some of the exercises from Week 1 and Week 2:

Complete 3-4 rounds:

  • Flex hang for time (either pull up or chin up grip)
  • 15 sandbag rows (you can also use dumbbells, a barbell, a heavy duffel bag, etc.)
  • 10-15 triceps dips
  • 30 seconds superman rocks
  • 30 seconds hollow body rocks
  • 45-60 second plank hold

Advanced option: If you can already do one or more pull ups, you can add in some pull ups before each round as well, so your workout will look like this:

Complete 3-4 rounds:

  • Max pull ups or chin ups
  • Flex hang for time (either pull up or chin up grip)
  • 15 sandbag rows (you can also use dumbbells, a barbell, a heavy duffel bag, etc.)
  • 10-15 triceps dips
  • 30 seconds superman rocks
  • 30 seconds hollow body rocks
  • 45-60 second plank hold

Try and do this workout three times during the week, making sure to take at least one rest day in between workouts. If you’re doing the advanced option, make sure to write down how many pull ups you’re able to do each round to keep track of your progress.

Make sure to tag all your photos #12MApullups and @12minuteathlete on Instagram and social media for a chance to win a medium + robust or a heavy + robust Rubberbanditz band combo (your choice!) at the end of the challenge!

Hand Positioning on the Pull Up Bar

When hanging from the bar, it’s important to make sure that the hand positioning is correct.

When using a chin up grip, your thumbs will be wrapped around the bar and palms turned towards you. It’s easiest to start with a pretty narrow grip from the bar, with your hands very close together.

In a pull up grip, your palms are turned away from you. In this grip, you can choose to wrap your thumbs around the bar or keep them wrapped over the bar. Most people will find wrapping their thumbs around the bar easier, since by doing so, you shorten the lever arm of the movement. That way you’re able to maintain the tension in the body and pulling yourself up becomes much easier.

In the pull up grip, start out by keeping your hands as wide as your shoulders. As you get stronger, you can try a wider or more narrow hold from the bar.

Body Positioning

Do you remember how we did hollow body holds, hollow body rocks and plank holds in week 1 and week 2? Now we’re taking the same body positioning to a pull up bar. You need to keep everything tight and squeezed and maintain that tension throughout the movement.

If you have a high pull up bar, keep you feet together and point your toes. If you’re using a doorway pull up bar, you’ll probably need to bend your legs, but you should still squeeze your core and butt muscles.

Work hard!