Everyone at some point was in the same position and was not able to perform just one push up, let alone 10 or 20. The main problem with pull ups is that while they are an excellent and effective form of exercise, you need to be careful to execute them fully to benefit from them.
If you are already at the point where you can perform 10, 20 or however many pull ups you like, without any hassle, then you are doing well, but for those of you reading this that cannot complete just one, you need to start from the beginning and build up gradually. If you want to be able to incorporate them into your workout schedule however, you need to decide whether you are going to do them the right way or the wrong way.
The Wrong Way
The first step to doing pull ups the wrong way is to force yourself into doing them. The result is anything but encouraging and it could see you just screaming and kicking trying to pull yourself up. It is quite funny for gym instructors and other professionals when they have students who claim they can easily do 10 pull ups, only to discover that what the person actually meant was they could pull themselves up just enough to not even get their chin over the bar.
The Right Way
The right way to do a pull up is to make sure your arm muscles have full movement. If they don’t, you may have to use something to take as much of your weight off your body by supporting yourself to enable you to complete a complete pull up. You can do this by either working out with someone else and asking them to hold your legs while you complete the exercise or you could attach your bar to a strap you can rest your feet into to take the pressure off a little while you do pull ups.
If you need help to build up to be able to do complete pull ups, you could try some of the following below that will either make it easier or help you build up the muscles and confidence you need to do pull ups.
For the dumbbell row you start by placing one knee or leg on a bench and holding a dumbbell and doing a pull up with it. As this is much easier to do but involves the same body movements, it is a great introduction to a proper pull up.
Pull Down Machine
This is a special piece of equipment that enables you to sit down with legs trapped under a bar, where you need to grab the bar and pull it down over your head. This is also very similar in muscle and joint movement to a pull up with the main difference being that you are pulling a weight down rather than pulling your body up.
This is a very simple movement to try using a dumbbell and curling it up will help your biceps to build up and enable you to have a better chance of completing a full pull up.
Even if you need help to do one properly, there is nothing better than actually doing one complete pull up. Make sure that you work gradually towards doing one. Trying 5 times and only doing 1 is better than nothing.