Many people hate pullups because they’re difficult, but we all know that avoiding difficult exercises will only lead to weakness and a poor physique.
While pullups may be the most important upper body exercise, they are often overlooked in favor of benching, seated shoulder presses, or seated rows. Why? Because those exercises are easier. You can move more weight in those exercises because you can either get better leverage, or cheat.
But when it comes to pullups, there’s no faking it. You need powerful grip strength just to hold on, strong arms to make it through the full range of motion, excellent core control so you don’t swing and waste energy, and mental toughness to continuously hang on and pull through a brutal set.
If pullups are challenging for you, it’s worth doing less reps and more sets until you can execute them with great form. The longer you put them off by doing only pulldowns, the longer it will take to develop that upper body power.
Oh, and please don’t do kipping pullups. Do strict pullups and squeeze the reps to get stronger and really build your back.