No Arm Pullups

no arm pullups

Here is how you can workout your lats when you have injured your hand, wrist, elbow, or broken your arm.  You might think that pullups are impossible when you cant use your arm but with a little creativity, they are easy to do!  All you need is a pullup bar and some hanging ab straps.  These are much more difficult than normal pullups.  Even if you can normally crank out a few dozen pullups, you will find these challenging and probably get DOMS from doing these.  You might even consider giving them a try if you are not injured :)  Lets cover some important points of the hands-free pullup.

  • Shoulder packing!  Because these are so difficult, most people have even more tendency to let their shoulders go up and touch their ears – dont do this!  Keep your shoulders down and back.  
  • Put the hanging ab straps under the elbows, not the armpits.  If you put them under the armpits its too easy to cheat and you dont get as much out of the exercise.  Obviously, make sure enough of the arm is in the straps so that you dont risk falling out though!
  • Dont go down all the way.  After trying these you will see why.  If you try to do a full range of motion pullup you would slip out of the hanging ab straps and fall to a crumpled heap on the floor.  Its very easy to sense how far you down you can go without slipping, you will only be using about 1/2 – 1/3 your normal range of motion.  Dont worry though, thats what makes these so awesome!  The partial reps keep your lats in the position where they are under maximum load so they are really difficult!
  • Use forced negatives!  When you  cant do any more of these no-hand pullups, using your feet, push yourself back up to the top position and then lower yourself slowly for 2-3 more forced negative reps.  Killer!!!


No Arm Pullups

22 thoughts on “No Arm Pullups”

  1. Hey scooby, i’m 5’10 263 lbs. I have a set of 40 lbs dumbbell set and a power tower with the option of pull ups push ups dips and leg raise. Please can you email me a routine to get in shape, and i know cardio for 20 to 30 min for fat lose. [email protected]

  2. Cool tip, i just jammed my finger and had a weak back workout yesterday. Do you lift at 24 hour ss in mt. view with a fanny pack!? I hope to be as beastly as you are at your age.

  3. Great workout idea. Would this be good to switch up with normal pull ups, or is it more of an exercise to do only if you are injured?

    Are you from Germany Scooby? I was stationed in Kaiserslautern for 3 years and would move back in a heart beat if i could. A lot of my German friends over there thought they didnt speak great English but they speak more proper English than most of the Americans I know. Yours is good.

  4. Scooby, I like how you rigged up the ab straps using the carabiners. Very smart idea.

    I wanted to buy some inexpensive ab straps but thought I couldn’t use them because the loop supports were not in the correct direction with the pull-up bar. Now, after seeing your video I’m going to get a setup like yours. You’re a genius

    thanks .

  5. Herr Scooby i appreciate all you are doing for us.You helped me a lot , you are my model. You have even help me to improve my english as I wached your videos. Heil Scooby! (from Romania)

    1. Hey Daniel, just a word of warning – a lot of people think I talk strangely. If you use me as your role model, you might get people asking if you are my little brother :)

  6. scoob, How long will you be handicapped for ? I cut my hand wide open washing dishes a couple of weeks ago and had to get creative to get my workouts in. I’m all better now though.

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