Tall guys, negative pull-up training focuses on the controlled lowering phase of the pull-up, allowing for increased muscle engagement and growth. 

In this article, I’ll explain the benefits of negative pull-ups and provide a step-by-step guide specifically tailored for tall guys seeking to master the overall body weight pull-up.

Table of Contents

Understanding The Challenge Of Pull-Ups For Tall Guys

Pull-ups can be particularly challenging for tall guys due to our longer limbs, making it harder to lift our body weight. However, by adding negative pull-ups into our training routine, we can overcome these challenges and build the strength needed to rep out your first body weight pull-up.

How To Do A Negative Pull-Up For Tall Guys

Negative Pull-Up Advantages For Tall Guys

Increased time under tension

The controlled descent in negative pull-ups prolongs the time under tension on the muscles, promoting greater muscle activation and growth.

Muscle engagement

Negative pull-ups target the muscles involved in the pulling motion, including the lats, traps, biceps, and forearms.

Improved technique

Practicing negative pull-ups helps improve overall pull-up technique, laying the foundation for successful full pull-ups in the future.

Building strength

Negative training has been shown to enhance strength gains, allowing tall guys to progress towards full pull-ups.

Negative Pull-Up Disadvantages For Tall Guys


Other than being tough (but hey, its the gym, easy doesn’t give you success) there are no disadvantages to negative pull-ups that could harm you more than a short person.

Tools You'll Need

  • A pull-up bar
  • A platform (box, plates, bench, etc)
this is a photo of a pull-up bar for negative pull-ups
this is a photo of a bench for negative pull-ups

How To Do A Negative Pull-Up For Tall Guys

1. Assisted starting position

  • Start by positioning yourself at the top of the pull-up bar with your chin above the bar, aiming to have your upper chest touching the bottom of the bar.
  • Use a box, bench or any other sturdy platform in your gym.
this is a photo of tall Paul starting his negative pull-up
this is a photo of tall Paul using an assisted box to start his negative pull-up

Tall guy tip: This is where our height can come to advantage. Look for the lowest bar in the gym, which most likely is only a few inches above your head. 

You can do one of two things.

  1. Stack a couple plates to go to the position you need.
  2. Stand under the bar with both hands on it, in a ready pull-up position. Then when you want to perform the negative, all you need to do is jump slightly and pull on the bar, until you have reach the starting position. Then lock in and hold!
this is a photo of plates to do a negative pull-up
this is a photo of tall Paul standing under a short pull-up bar to do negative pull-ups

2. Overhand grip

  • Grasp the pull-up bar with an overhand grip, hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Ensure your palms are facing away from you.
this is a photo of tall Paul using an overhand grip for negative pull-ups
this is a photo of tan pauls hands facing away from him for a negative pull-up

3. Engage your core

  • Tighten your core muscles to create a stable base.
  • This engagement will help control your body movement throughout the exercise.

4. Controlled descent

  • Take your body weight off whatever base you chose to use and start the exercise (or make your jump up.)
  • Begin the negative phase by slowly lowering your body.
  • Try to take at least 4 to 6 seconds to complete the descent, maintaining strict control.
this is a photo of tall Paul doing a negative pull-up step one
this is a photo of tall Paul doing a negative pull-up step two
this is a photo of tall Paul doing a negative pull-up step three

5. Full range of motion

  • Ensure a full range of motion during the descent, allowing your arms to fully straighten.
  • Get to this full range of motion before you let your legs hit the ground.
this is tall Paul ensuring full range of motion on the negative pull-up
this is a photo of tall Paul letting his legs hit the ground after going full range of motion on a negative pull-up

6. Reset for each rep

  • If performing multiple negative pull-ups, reset to the top position before each repetition.
  • This ensures that each descent is performed with controlled and deliberate movements.

7. Gradual progression

  • As your strength improves, gradually increase the difficulty by slowing down the descent further or by reducing assistance.
  • I create tall guy workout plans, click through and message me your fitness goals and I can tell you the reps and set you will want to hit.