‘GMA’ January Challenge: How to do a pull-up with perfect form

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Welcome to GMA’s New Year, Best You. As we ring in 2019, we are sharing everything you need to start the new year strong. From keeping your New Year’s resolutions going to Instagram-worthy meal prep to workout programs to eating plans to taking time for yourself, we have it all covered.

Join our “GMA” January Challenges all month long to be your best in 2019 — from meal prep for healthier eating to running club with Amy Robach to Dry January with Dr. Ashton to strength training with Ginger Zee and more. Tell us how your resolution challenge is going on our GMA Facebook group and share with #GMAJanuaryChallenge on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

You’re using everything so you’re burning the most amount of calories in a very short period of time

For 2019, “Good Morning America” meteorologist Ginger Zee, a mother of two and avid exerciser, set a new wellness goal: to be able to do eight pull-ups and 30 push-ups in great form.

Zee started off the year able to do three pull-ups and turned to her friend and personal trainer Mark Langowski to help reach her goal in 30 days.

“Pull-ups are one of the most challenging things that a person can do with fitness,” Langowski told “GMA.” “It’s not just your arms. You’re using your abs. You’re using your upper back. You’re using everything so you’re burning the most amount of calories in a very short period of time, and that’s why it’s a very effective exercise.”

To achieve the best results, it’s important to have proper form. Here are his top tips on how to pull off the perfect pull-up and how to up your reps at the same time.

1. Pull-up vs. Chin-up

First, you should note whether you’re doing a pull-up or a chin-up. (Yes, there is a difference.)

“Essentially, [with a chin-up,] you’re just trying to get your chin up over the bar with your palms facing you,” he explained.

“Whereas with a traditional pull-up,” he said, “you still pull your chin up over the bar, [but] your hand placement is wider and palms are facing away from the face.”

2. Form is key

Whether you’re doing a pull-up or chin-up, the correct form is key to achieve the best results.

“The right form is going to be controlling it on the way up and the way down, so you’re not swinging,” Langowski explained.

“The perfect pull-up is starting in a dead-hang position and then pulling your body all the way up and then releasing down.”

3. Practice makes perfect

One way to improve over time is to use an elastic workout band that provides support to help you do more reps.

Over time, Langowski says you will get stronger and able to do more pull-ups without assistance. If you practice consistently, you should be able to do one more pull-up each week without using the band.

Pro Tip: To make a pull-up more challenging, place your arms farther apart.

Join our “GMA” January Challenges all month long to be your best in 2019 — from meal prep for healthier eating to running club with Amy Robach to Dry January with Dr. Ashton to strength training with Ginger Zee and more. Tell us how your resolution challenge is going on our GMA Facebook group and share with #GMAJanuaryChallenge on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.