Eccentric Pull-Ups. Techniques, Benefits & Mistakes

Eccentric pull-ups refer to an outstanding bodyweight exercise that can help to develop muscle mass and upper-body strength. It helps people to improve balance. While performing eccentric pull-ups, you need to lower yourself as slowly as possible. Thus, it becomes possible to develop more strength.

In the eccentric, the muscles become more powerful than concentric. It indicates that people can lower themselves for a minimum of a few seconds despite not having the strength to pull themselves up. It is possible to leverage eccentric strength so that you can learn the pull-up exercise and develop some concentric strength.

Different Ways to Perform Eccentric Pull Ups

Many methods are there to do these eccentrics effectively. So, there is no need to get stuck with a single variation. If necessary, do many eccentric repetitions when you can not lower yourself for 10, 20, or 30 seconds. Suppose it is possible to lower for 5 seconds for you; hence, you may do it thrice each set.

When you become stronger, you may do a single long repetition. Suppose you go to the top position. Then, you lower yourself slowly for 20, 30, or even 40 seconds. However, if you are willing, you can lower yourself stage by stage. Try this to strengthen the muscles at all stages of exercise. In addition, forcing yourself at any specific point while lowering yourself will be difficult.

You can do this in these ways—

  • Lower yourself ¼ and hold for 5 seconds.
  • Repeat the process by lowering yourself ½.
  • Then, perform the process again by lowering 3/4th of yourself simultaneously.

As soon as you complete the steps, you should do the following:

  • First, lower yourself to ¼ and hold for 3 seconds.
  • Repeat the process by lowering yourself ½.
  • Then, perform the process again by lowering 3/4th of yourself simultaneously.

Next, do the following.

  • First, lower yourself to ¼ and hold for 1-2 seconds.
  • Repeat the process by lowering yourself ½.
  • Then, perform the process again by lowering 3/4th of yourself simultaneously.

Why do you do this exercise?

You can perform these to build up strength in the upper portion of your body. It is ideal for athletes who are still not so strong to complete concentric pull-ups.

It can allow athletes to learn the process of recruiting muscle groups in pull-ups. Athletes can control their weight via the exercise’s down phase.

3) This movement helps to enhance body control.

Coaching tips for this exercise:

Suppose you are an athlete. If it is the case, you need to grip the bar overhand. Hence, you need to grip your hands a bit wider than shoulder width. You need to jump off a bench allowing the chin to be over the bar.

Ensure that you are maintaining a stable torso or reducing swinging. You can lower yourself gradually downwards. Hence, it would help if you extended your elbows until your hands are almost straight. You should do this for up to 10s for each repetition.

As soon as you extend the elbows, you need to jump back up to the start position. After that, you should do it again.

4) While performing the downward movement, you need to control the torso along with using your arms evenly at the same time. Moreover, you have to check whether there is an imbalance, like lateral movement toward one side.

When you improve the strength of the upper body portion, your coach may start adding concentric repetitions at the beginning of a set. Then, your coach will tell you to increase the concentric repetitions so that you can increase the strength of your upper body.

How You Can Add Eccentric Pull up Into Your Programme

You should know, in this case, that it is possible to perform these exercises with those who can do a dead hang for more than twenty seconds. In addition, people who can perform a chin over the bar and hold for 20+ seconds can perform these exercises. It indicates that people can control their body weight. It is useful for people as they can move towards the first pull. Besides, it is suitable for people performing some pull-ups only to boost the repetition number.

Common Mistakes

  • You start the process with little control, meaning it remains throughout the movement.
  • If you move very fast, it will decrease the time under tension.
  • When you do not move through the entire range of motion, it will prevent you from being powerful in the difficult pull-up motion. As a result, the exercise becomes much less effective.

Eccentric pull-ups benefits

Why are these advantageous? These let you perform regular pull-ups. In most cases, people find problems performing even a single standard pull-up. However, almost all people can do these exercises for a few seconds.

Eccentric pull-ups develop the strength which you will require to start pulling yourself up. These exercises train your muscles.

However, these pull-ups are perfect as an upper-body workout. These exercises can strengthen the following:

  • Back (and lats)
  • Biceps
  • Forearms
  • Core
  • Erector spinae
  • Transverse abdominis
  • Rectus abdominis
  • Obliques
  • Glutes
  • Shoulders
  • Chest

When you perform these exercises, they generally target your lats. Besides, there are abs, biceps, shoulders, and upper back muscles involved in this case.

Assisted pull-ups: These exercises help to build up strength. If you want body positioning, this one will be the perfect exercise. Moreover, by performing these pull-ups, you can build grip strength, and improve stability. So, if you want to improve your fitness level, then you can add these pull-ups to your routine for progression.

Weighted pull-ups: By performing these pull-ups, you can build muscles along with developing upper-body strength. Don’t you have a weight belt or weighted vest? Then, you can use resistance bands, dumbbells, kettlebells, a barbell, or a dip belt outfitted with barbell plates to perform these pull-ups.

Eccentric pull-down: The process undergoes these stages, including- shoulder abduction, scapular protraction, upward scapular rotation, and elbow extension.

When you perform pull-ups with a wide grip, it will activate the muscles, including:-

  • Latissimus Dorsi
  • Trapezius
  • Abdominals
  • Thoracic erector spinae
  • Pectorals
  • Rhomboids
  • Infraspinatus
  • Teres minor
  • External obliques
  • Deltoids
  • Biceps

What Are Pull-Ups Good For?

This one is an effective exercise to build back muscles and strengthen them. The pull-ups can strengthen the latissimus dorsi, trapezius, erector spinae, and infraspinatus.

  • These are useful for your biceps, forearms, and shoulders also.
  • These are perfect for building awesome grip strength.
  • The pull-ups boost shoulder stability and core strength.
  • With the help of pull-ups, you can improve upper body explosiveness. As a result, all areas of fitness and sports will be improved.
  • Exercise can burn many calories. These are very challenging, so they will burn more calories by pumping the heart like crazy. It can boost the metabolism also.


If you perform pull-ups in slow motion, it will build a powerful mind-muscle connection. These put the working muscles under tension, and it remains for a long time. The pull-ups need muscular control. Besides, these can provide a method to progress except strapping on additional load. However, if you want, you can try the eccentric pull-up alternatives, which are as follows:-

  • Inverted Row.
  • Wide Grip Lat Pulldown.
  • Bent Over Rows.
  • Lat PushDown.
  • Single Arm Lat Pulldown.
  • Close grip V Bar Pulldown.
  • Close Grip Chin Up.
  • Assisted Pull Ups

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How many eccentric pull-ups should I do?

Ans- You can do many eccentric repetitions when you are unable to lower yourself for 10, 20, or 30 seconds.

2. Are pull-ups an eccentric exercise?

Ans- It is known as a “negative” or “eccentric” pullup. We call this exercise eccentric if your focus point is downwards.

3. What do eccentric pull-ups do?

Ans- You can do eccentric pull-ups to increase upper-body strength. It is useful for athletes who are not powerful enough to complete concentric pull-ups.

4. Are pull-ups concentric or eccentric?

Ans- When you lower yourself towards the floor, the pecs can be seen lengthening and you need to have decent control over the speed. Because you are pushing back up again, then they shorten. This lowering and lengthening portion is known as eccentric contraction. Whereas the lifting and shortening portion is known as concentric contraction.

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