Doing 5 Pull-Ups Is My Goal, and This Is the Basic Move My CrossFit Coach Said to Do

Doing one pull-up was my goal when I first started CrossFit over three years ago, but now I have my sights set higher. Now my goal is to be able to do five strict pull-ups. I told my CrossFit coach about my goal and aside from working on pull-ups with a band, she also suggested doing pull-up holds. These feel really hard, and I can only do a few before my arms are toast, so here's an easier variation called the ring row hold.

Since your feet are supported on the floor, it takes some of the weight off your upper body so you're able to do more than a few reps; aim for three sets of 10. You can make this exercise easier or harder depending on the angle of your torso: the closer your shoulders are to the ground, the harder this move will be.

Getty | Nastasic

Ring Row Hold

  • Stand with your feet hip-distance apart, holding a ring (or TRX handle) in each hand, palms facing each other. If you don't have either, you can do this exercise using the edge of a sturdy table or a low bar.
  • Walk your feet forward until your body is at a 45-degree angle to the floor, arms fully extended and your body in one straight line.
  • To make this harder, walk your feet further forward so your shoulders are even closer to the ground. The advanced version of this would be to have your body parallel to the floor with your feet resting on a box.
  • With your core stabilized and your legs straight, with either your feet or heels planted on the floor, bend your elbows behind you, keeping them close to your body and pull your chest toward your hands.
  • Hold here for 10 to 30 seconds.
  • Straighten your arms to lower your torso, completing one rep.