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Doing Pull-Ups on a Door

author image Patrick Dale
Patrick Dale is an experienced writer who has written for a plethora of international publications. A lecturer and trainer of trainers, he is a contributor to "Ultra-FIT" magazine and has been involved in fitness for more than 22 years. He authored the books "Military Fitness", "Live Long, Live Strong" and "No Gym? No Problem!" and served in the Royal Marines for five years.
Doing Pull-Ups on a Door
A woman is hanging from a pull up bar. Photo Credit: Ibrakovic/iStock/Getty Images

Pull-ups are an effective and challenging upper body exercise. Pull-ups develop the latissimus dorsi muscles of your back, your biceps in the front of your upper arms and your forearm muscles. Traditionally performed using a pull-up bar, this exercise can also be performed using a door. This variation is ideal for people who are on the road, away from the gym or just don't have the space for a pull-up bar at home.

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Performing a Door Pull Up

Step 1

Open the door and wedge it fully open to minimize the risk of it swinging shut and injuring your hands. Ensure there is sufficient clearance above the door so your head won't hit the ceiling.

Step 2

Place the hand towel over the top of the door to minimize the risk of getting splinters in your hands.

Step 3

Facing the door, reach up and place your hands over the top of the door. Make sure you have a secure grip. Your hands should be around shoulder-width apart.

Step 4

Lift your feet off the floor and bend your legs. Your thighs, abdomen and chest should all be in contact with the door.

Step 5

Pull strongly with your arms and drag your body up the door until your chin is above the top of the door. Hold this top position for one to two seconds.

Step 6

Extend your arms and slowly lower your body back down the door until you are in the starting position.

Step 7

Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

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  • "The Body Sculpting Bible Express for Men" James Villepique, Hugo Rivera and Marie Courtier; 2009
  • "You Are Your Own Gym: The Bible of Bodyweight Exercises for Men and Women" Mark Lauren; 2010
  • "The 100 Best Stretch Tube Exercises;" Ted Gambordella; 2008
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