All About Australian Pull-ups

Look Ma, no hands!

Look Ma, no hands!

Australian pull-ups are becoming a very popular exercise. Like all types of pull-ups (and all types of exercises for that matter) there are many different ways to do the Australian, and it can be incorporated into a number of different contexts within a workout.

Using the Australian for Beginners
I first mentioned this idea in my introduction to Australian pull-ups. If you aren’t strong enough to do a pull-up (this goes for you too, ladies), this a great way to start to build toward it. Once you can do 3 sets of 10 without struggling (something that shouldn’t take too long for any reasonably fit, dedicated individual), it won’t be long before a pull-up is within your grasp.

Trainer Tip:
The higher up the bar, the better the leverage. Of course, this is only true up until a certain point–once the bar is too high, then you’re just doing a regular pull-up!

Using the Australian in a Superset
The Australian pull-up is a great exercise to use as a superset with push-ups, since they work opposite muscle groups. You will get a great pump from doing this and it also allows you to keep your heart rate up. Due to the fact that you’re allowing certain muscles to rest while you are using others, you can maintain that elevated heart rate without burning out your muscles too quickly.

The Australian pull-up can also be used as a superset after the standard kind if you are trying to increase your reps on pull-ups.

Plyometric Australian Pull-up
I like to turn the Australian pull-up into a plyometric exercise by switching between overhand and underhand grips on alternating reps. You can also switch back and forth from a wide grip to a narrow grip in an explosive fashion to mix up this exercise with a plyometric spin.

The One Arm Australian Pull-up
Of course an Australian can be done with just one arm. This is another method to practice while building towards one arm pull-ups. Like any single limb movement, the one arm Australian pull-up requires a ton of core strength and stability. You can add an extra challenge by trying it on one leg also!

Watch the video below for more about Australian pull-ups:


For more information about pull-ups, pick up a copy of my book, Raising The Bar: The Definitive Guide to Pull-up Bar Calisthenics.

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