Tall guys, isometric training involves holding a static pull-up position, which emphasizes the contraction of key muscles in the pull-up. 

In this article, I’ll explore the benefits of isometric hold pull-ups and provide a step-by-step guide tailored specifically for tall guys. Getting you levelled up, in time, to repping out body weight pull-ups.

Table of Contents

Understanding The Challenge Of Pull-Ups For Tall Guys

Pull-ups can be particularly challenging for tall guys due to longer limbs, which may make it harder to lift the entire body weight. Isometric hold pull-ups offer a unique way for us to engage the muscles without the need for a full range of motion, helping to build strength and overcome the challenges posed by our long bodies.

How To Do An Isometric Hold Pull-Up For Tall Guys

Isometric Hold Pull-Up Advantages For Tall Guys

Increased time under tension

Isometric training extends the time under tension on the muscles, promoting greater muscle activation and growth.

Muscle engagement

Isometric holds target key muscle groups involved in pull-ups, including the lats, traps, biceps, and forearms.

Joint-friendly

Isometric holds are generally joint-friendly, making them suitable for tall guys who may experience discomfort during dynamic movements.

Enhanced strength and endurance

Isometric hold pull-ups contribute to improved strength and endurance in the muscles involved, laying the groundwork for full-range pull-ups.

Isometric Hold Pull-Up Disadvantages For Tall Guys

None

Other than being tough (but hey, its the gym, easy doesn’t give you success) there are no disadvantages to isometric hold 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 bar to do an isometric hold
this is a photo of a bench to do an isometric hold

How To Do An Isometric Hold 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 app 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 isometric hold pull-up by positioning himself with his chin above the bar
this is a photo of tall Paul using a bench to start is isometric pull-up hold

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 an isometric hold

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 doing an overhand grip for the isometric hold pull up
this is tall pula making Sur this hands are away from him for an isometric hold 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. Engage your lats and back

  • Now that you are at the final ‘pull’ height of a pull-up, with your hands locked in and core tight, start engaging the rest of your muscles.
  • Pinch your elbows and shoulders down, triggering your lats, biceps and back muscles to lock in to a fully engaged position.
this is a photo of tall Paul preparing for the isometric hold pull-up

5. Step off and hold

  • Step off your platform (or jump from the floor) and hold the fully engaged position with your chest touching the bottom of the bar.
  • Maintain a strong and controlled posture during the hold.
  • This is the working step of the entire exercise.
this is a photo of tall Paul stepping off the bench to perform the isometric hold pull-up

6. Controlled descent

  • After holding for the desired duration (e.g., 10-30 seconds), lower yourself down in a controlled manner.
  • Focus on maintaining tension in the muscles throughout the descent.

7. Full range of motion

  • If your goal is to perform multiple isometric hold pull-ups, reset and repeat the process.
  • Ensure a full range of motion during each pull and hold.

8. Gradual progression

  • As your strength improves, gradually increase the duration of the hold or the number of repetitions.
  • 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.