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Eccentric Pull-Up [Exercise Guide]

Eccentric Pull-Up

What Is Eccentric Pull-Up

The eccentric pull-up is an eccentric portion of a pull-up, when the practitioner lowers themself below the bar. It is also known as a “negative” pull-up. Experts call these kinds of movements “closed chain” since the hands never leave the bar. The technique implies lowering yourself slowly and steadily while maintaining full body tension during the whole exercise. 

The key here is to find something that allows you to jump up to the top position without much effort. This way, you can focus on the eccentric move. Only individuals who can maintain a dead hang and a chin over bar hold for 20 seconds or more should attempt these workouts. This condition will indicate that they are capable of maintaining proper form.

What Muscles Does Eccentric Pull-Up Work

The leading muscle group worked by eccentric pull-ups is the latissimus dorsi. But others engaged in the process include:

  • abdomen
  • biceps
  • delts
  • upper back
  • chest
  • core (erector spinae, transverse abdominis, rectus abdominis, obliques, glutes, etc.)

The day after doing eccentric pull-ups, even those who have never practiced the workout will feel the reaction of the targeted muscles. It’s a practical exercise that can load the muscles to the maximum.

How To Perform An Eccentric Pull-Up

Step 1. Set up

Find a bench, box or gymnastic ball and put it under the bar. It will serve as a stand to get you into the starting position. The aim here is to place your chin over the bar. So your stand should be high enough.

Step 2. Get started

Step on the stand and jump up. Grab the bar. You can use any grip – overhand, neutral, or supinated. The legs might be bent if you find that helpful for overall balance.

Step 3. Lower your body

Begin the descent movement. Do a ten-count on the way down. It will help you to keep things slow enough. Don’t rush things. Otherwise, the time under strain is reduced, diminishing the benefits of the activity. Keep a tight midline throughout the whole exercise. 

Step 4. Aim for the full range of motion and balance

Go down fully. Then jump up again. A full range of motion guarantees that you gain strength correctly. Going halfway severely reduces the effectiveness of the exercise. Maintain torso stability and utilize both arms in a coordinated downward motion. Keep an eye out for skewed movement, especially if it’s lateral.

Important! You shouldn’t limit yourself to just one method of doing eccentrics since there are many options. If you lack the stamina to stay in a lowering stage for 10, 20, or 30 seconds, one solution is to do a series of eccentric repetitions. In this case, you may, for instance, go down for five seconds while completing three reps. As your strength increases, you can make a single, lengthy motion. For instance, you may climb to the peak and drop yourself for half a minute.

Advantages Of An Eccentric Pull-Up

Preparing for more complex exercises

It’s a great way to improve your ability with a pull-up if you still need to do the conventional exercise. Eccentric pull-ups may be utilized to build upper-body strength. Athletes benefit from this action since it teaches them to use the muscles and maintain control of their bodies throughout the movement’s lowering phase. So eccentrics help you develop the concentration necessary to lift yourself up.

Building strength in the lats and arms

There are several advantages to loading your lats and arms, and they all pertain to upper body strength. It’s a kind of strength training that gradually increases the amount of work required for strong muscles. In addition to strengthening your back and improving your posture, the exercise will also help protect your shoulders and spinal column from injury.

Good fit for all levels and settings

Eccentric pull-ups are great for individuals of all fitness levels since muscular strength increases during the last, easier phase of the activity. You’ll need a lot of time under strain from your muscles, and the benefits you see will be substantial. Because the only weight needed for eccentrics is the body itself, they are introduced into any circumstances. All you need is a bar. As for the stand, even a simple box may work well.


When doing eccentrics, as opposed to regular pull-ups, you want to lower yourself as slowly as possible. Doing so may help you become stronger, eventually lead to your first unassisted pull-up, and even increase your muscular mass. Due to the muscles being more powerful during the eccentric stage, these advantages are available to everyone. Simply said, if you can’t pull yourself up, you can still lower yourself for a few seconds. This way, you may develop your concentric strength and learn to do the conventional pull-up exercise.

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