Jumping Pull-Up – Muscles Worked, Benefits, and Exercise Demo

In this article we will discuss the jumping pull-up, a total body bodyweight movement that can be used for metabolic conditioning and/or pull-up progression purposes. In the below sections we will discuss the muscles worked by the jumping pull-up, offer video tutorials, and uncover a few benefits of this exercise.

Muscles Worked

The jumping pull-up is a dynamic total body movement that incorporates vast amounts of muscle tissue to execute properly. For starters, this movement has a lifter perform a jump from the floor onto a high bar, forcing the lower body to produce force and power like any other jumping exercise. Additionally, the lifter must then use their upper body, back, and arms to pull their chest to the bar using the momentum gained from the jump. Below is a listing, in no specific order, of the muscles that are worked by the jumping pull-up.

  • Lower body (quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, calves)
  • Forearms
  • Biceps
  • Latissimus Dorsi
  • Core (abdominals, obliques, spinal erectors)

Jumping Pull-Up Exercise Demo

In the below video, the jumping pull-up exercise is demonstrated. The key aspects to remember when performing this movement is to secure the hands to the barbell firmly after the jump, making sure to not slip off the barbell and fall backwards. It is suggested that you stand and jump from a few inches behind, yet still underneath the bar rather than run and jump up to bar, as this may cause your torso to swing forwards. Lastly, the more leg drive and jump you start with, the easier this movement should be for the upper body (due to more vertical acceleration of the body). To make this more difficult, you can increase bar height (bigger jump needed) or use legs legs.

Benefits of the Jumping Pull-Up

In this section we will discuss three (3) benefits of the jumping pull-up that coaches, athletes, and fitness enthusiast can come to expect when performing the jumping pull-up exercise.

Total Body Conditioning

Due to the complex nature of this exercise, and that it requires power, strength, and coordinated muscular and joint movements to perform, the metabolic demands (energy costs) can be quite high. This movement can be placed within conditioning workouts and other fitness style sessions promoting muscular endurance and stamina, as this movement can be done for higher repetitions and involves a great amount of muscle tissues and energy systems to perform.

Pull-Up Regression

In a more controlled setting, the jumping pull-up can be used to increase pull-up performance for those individuals who may lack the upper body strength and/or control to perform strict pull-ups. By jumping, the individual can gain upward momentum as the then go into the upper body portion of the lift, making the body mass less challenging to overcome (as it already has upward acceleration). Coaches can also have lifters jump softer as they gain more strength and/or perform isometric holds at certain phases of the pull-up to also gain upper body strength specific to the strict pull-up.

Body Awareness and Control

When performing any movement in an open, uncontrolled setting (like plyometrics, athletics, monostructural and agility activities) the individual must learn to move, adapt, and perform coordinated movements with their bodies. This can produce increased coordination, balance, and mindfulness, all of which are key to movement, athletics, and functional efficiency in life. Jumping pull-ups, like other movements mentioned above are a good way to incorporate some basic body and core control during total body movements.

Build a Better Pull-Up

Take a look at the below articles and learn how to increase your pull-up performance and minimize overuse injuries.

Featured Image: @styrketrude on Instagram

Mike Dewar

Mike Dewar

Mike holds a Master's in Exercise Physiology and a Bachelor's in Exercise Science. Currently, Mike has been with BarBend since 2016, where he covers Olympic weightlifting, sports performance training, and functional fitness. He's a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and is the Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach at New York University, in which he works primarily with baseball, softball, track and field, cross country. Mike is also the Founder of J2FIT, a strength and conditioning brand in New York City that offers personal training, online programs for sports performance, and has an established USAW Olympic Weightlifting club.

In his first two years writing with BarBend, Mike has published over 500+ articles related to strength and conditioning, Olympic weightlifting, strength development, and fitness. Mike’s passion for fitness, strength training, and athletics was inspired by his athletic career in both football and baseball, in which he developed a deep respect for the barbell, speed training, and the acquisition on muscle.

Mike has extensive education and real-world experience in the realms of strength development, advanced sports conditioning, Olympic weightlifting, and human movement. He has a deep passion for Olympic weightlifting as well as functional fitness, old-school bodybuilding, and strength sports.

Outside of the gym, Mike is an avid outdoorsman and traveller, who takes annual hunting and fishing trips to Canada and other parts of the Midwest, and has made it a personal goal of his to travel to one new country, every year (he has made it to 10 in the past 3 years). Lastly, Mike runs Rugged Self, which is dedicated to enjoying the finer things in life; like a nice glass of whiskey (and a medium to full-bodied cigar) after a hard day of squatting with great conversations with his close friends and family.

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