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10 Hardest Pull Up Exercises Of All Time

by Todd Kuslikis on October 03, 2011

pull ups 150x150 10 Hardest Pull Up Exercises Of All TimePull Up exercises have been used to give men and women a beautiful and muscular back for ages. Before pull up bars existed I’m sure that limbs of trees and other horizontal items were used by the extreme exercise pull-upers to get their back workouts in.

Though aren’t you sick of seeing the same old pull up exercise? Lift up and down, up and down. I don’t mean to say that this isn’t a good exercise. It is, I do them in my workout routines. Though how about something different? Something extreme? I have put together a list of the Top 10 Most Difficult Pull Up Routines On YouTube. These Pull Up Routines are unusual and unbelievable. Review the list and comment below on which you think is the most extreme and difficult.

One of the reasons I love pull ups so much is because it does NOT incorporate isolation. Many of your upper body muscles are required to pull your body up so you are developing whole body strength. There’s a great article that like called Why “Isolation Training” with weights is a bad strategy. Definitely worth the read.


10 Hardest Pull Up Exercises Of All Time

10. Narrow Grip Pull Ups

Great variation to the normal pull up routine using a close grip.


9. Towel Pull Ups

If you want to develop greater forearm and hand strength, use a towel. You’ll have to grip it tight to keep your body from falling, thereby increasing grip strength.


8. Kipping Pull Up

This Pull Up Routine uses body weight to get up. It’s unique and cool and gives you the ability to do more pull ups.


7. Side to Side Pull Ups

Most people don’t realize how many variations there are to the normal pull up. This one increases focused attention on very specific parts of the lat muscle.


6. Barbarian Pull Ups

This video shows a bunch of variations. The one I am impressed with is the one where you pull yourself in front of the bar instead of behind.


5. Clap Pull Ups

These are very impressive and can be done in a few months once you get the hang of the normal pull up.


4. One Finger Pull Up

Few people on the planet can do the one finger pull up. This one is very intense.


3. Weighted One Armed Pull Up

Depending on the amount of weight you use, this could be progressively difficult.


2. Human Flag Pull Ups

The Human Flag Pull Ups are so impressive. Watch this video to learn how to do it.


1. Kipping Clap Pull Ups

One simple variation on the normal Kipping Pull Up and you have one of the most difficult pull ups on earth. Check this video out!


Can any of you out there do any of these pull up exercises? I would love to work up toward the Human Flag Pull Up. This one is wickedly cool!


Post Your Comments Below!


  1. Wilson
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 4:16 am

    This is wickedly awesome i love this.

    • Todd Kuslikis
      Posted April 24, 2012 at 8:18 am

      Hi Wilson,

      Glad you like it! :)

      Can you do any of these? Some of them ARE truly difficult!


  2. Kenneth
    Posted August 10, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    Any good alternatives to Pull ups Todd?

    • Todd Kuslikis
      Posted August 11, 2012 at 7:59 am

      Hi Kenneth,

      If you don’t have a pull up bar I recommend doing stretch pushups. They will help build strength in your upper back, though they don’t strengthen your biceps. You can make a “make-shift” pull up bar at home if you like. Here’s a link on how to do it.

      Thanks for the comment.


  3. Devon
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 11:07 pm

    Can not do any of these, though I can do one normal pull up.

  4. Devon
    Posted April 4, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    I can now do side to side(though I still have normal hand position, cause they are normal length always) and i can also do narrow grip

  5. Devon
    Posted April 5, 2013 at 11:23 pm

    And also now I can do the easier than normal pull up towell pull up

  6. Devon
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 10:40 pm

    Yeis, the towell pull up is EASIER than the normal.

    • Posted April 10, 2013 at 7:03 am

      Really? I think most people would probably disagree. You are engaging extra forearm and hand muscles that you aren’t using in the normal pull ups. You must have forearms like Popeye!

  7. sylvain
    Posted July 4, 2013 at 5:39 am

    Come on now, don’t put kipping movements on any ‘hard’ lists. Kipping Are movements where u rely on momentum, therefore ur muscles Are not working just as much as if u did it with proper form.

  8. sumit
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    Great, barbarian is the new challange ..>!!

  9. Posted November 15, 2013 at 7:05 am

    i can do 10,9,8,7

  10. Posted November 15, 2013 at 7:06 am

    i do 10/9/8/7

  11. ????
    Posted January 14, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    surprised the front lever/ one arm front lever didnt make it in the list. i want the human flag one though

  12. Joel
    Posted March 19, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    Should add one of my favourtes I do at the park: vertical bar pull ups. I stand between two vertical bars, grip them high and pull up between them. Doing neutral grip pull ups on monkey bars is fun too.

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