Why Are Pull Ups So Tiring? 16 Factors To Consider

Why Are Pull Ups So Tiring?

Why Are Pull Ups So Tiring? 16 Factors To Consider

Do you ever finish a few pull ups and immediately feel exhausted? Don’t worry, it’s normal! Pull ups require incredible strength and stamina – so much so that they are regularly used to measure upper body fitness.

But why are pull ups so tiring? In this blog post, we will look at all the reasons why you might find the exercise so tiring and what you can do to improve your pull up game. From grip fatigue to core engagement, we’ll cover all aspects of what makes the classic exercise such an energy zapper. So if you’re looking for advice on how to conquer those exercising demons, read ahead – you won’t be disappointed!

Why Are Pull Ups So Tiring?

First and foremost, pull ups require a lot of energy. After all, you are lifting your entire body weight against gravity and fighting it the whole way. As such, the exercise can be very taxing on your muscles and tendons which can lead to fatigue. Additionally, form and technique play an important role in why pull ups might be so tiring. If you aren’t used to doing pull ups, or you don’t train them enough, your body will have difficulty coordinating all of the muscles needed for a successful rep. One common mistake that can lead to fatigue with pull ups is holding your breath while doing them. This restricts oxygen delivery and makes it harder to keep going. Many people try to rush and complete their reps as quickly as possible, which leads to over-gripping the bar and creating excess tension in their arms, which can cause fatigue. You might also need to improve your overall endurance levels to help you improve and reduce the exhaustion associated with pull ups. It’s also possible that you may be having difficulties with pull ups because of a medical issue or an injury. For example, if you have reduced range of motion in your shoulders, it can make the exercise much more difficult and subsequently more tiring. 

So how can you improve your pull up game? let’s look in more detail at the suggestions above…

1. Require lot of energy 

Pull ups are an intense exercise that requires a lot of energy. They work the upper body muscles, requiring your arms and shoulders to lift your entire body weight in one fluid motion. This requires an immense amount of muscular strength and endurance, as well as a good cardiovascular system to help fuel the movement for a longer period of time. In addition, it demands a good amount of coordination and balance since you are suspending your body weight in midair.

All of this makes pull ups an extremely challenging exercise that requires lots of energy to perform. Additionally, because pull ups work so many muscles at once, they can be a great way to burn lots of calories in a short amount of time. Pull ups so tiring because it takes an incredible amount of energy to perform them correctly and safely! With this kind of physical demand that the exercise places on the body, it is easy to see why pull ups require lots of energy.

So, if you are looking for an efficient way to work out and burn calories quickly, look no further than pull ups!  

2. Lifting entire body weight 

Pull ups are tiring because you are literally lifting your entire body weight off the ground. Every pull up requires maximum effort from the muscles of your arms, back, core and legs to lift your entire body weight against gravity. The more you weigh, the more difficult it will be to complete a successful pull up rep. This is why pull ups are considered an advanced bodyweight exercise, as the resistance of lifting your entire body weight quickly adds up.

If you’re not accustomed to pull ups, it can be a real challenge even for those with good upper body strength. This why performing multiple reps of pull ups is difficult and why they are so draining!

Not only that, but you have to keep your body in the right form throughout the exercise. This means keeping your shoulders back, core tight, and body straight in order to complete a successful rep. All these factors combined make pull ups very difficult which is why they are considered one of the best upper body exercises out there.

3. Form and technique 

These are important in pull ups, as incorrect form can lead to injuries and fatigue much more easily. Poor technique may cause the muscles of your arms and back to be worked unevenly, leading to muscle imbalances. Furthermore, excessive momentum or jerking movements make it easy for you to injure yourself while doing a pull up exercise. This is why having proper form and technique is essential in order to maximize the benefits of pull ups. Learning the correct way to perform a pull up can help you get more out of your workout, as well as reduce the risk for injuries.

It is important that when performing pull ups, as they can easily be done wrong, you use slow and controlled movements to ensure that you are using the right muscles. Additionally, ensuring that your core is engaged during the exercise will help with balance, stability and form while working out. Proper technique also helps you maximise your effort in a pull up so that you can challenge yourself more effectively. 

4. Full body compound exercise 

Pull ups involve several muscle groups and require your entire body to work together in order to perform the movement. Pull ups are considered a full-body compound exercise, which means it involves multiple joints moving simultaneously for completing the desired action. This is why pull ups can be more taxing than single-joint exercises like bicep curls. Your body has to recruit more muscle fibres and use more motor units in order to complete a pull up, which makes it much more fatiguing than other exercises.

The high intensity of a pull up forces your entire body—including core, back, arms, shoulders, chest and glutes—to work together in order to complete the movement. The large amount of muscles involved also require a lot more energy, leading to a greater sense of fatigue and exhaustion after completing pull ups.  By performing pull ups, you are not just working your arms; you are engaging your entire body in an exercise that could be considered one of the most challenging exercises for overall strength and fitness.

This is why pull ups are an incredibly beneficial exercise to add to your workout routine. They challenge both your strength and endurance, helping you build muscle mass in a relatively short amount of time. 

5. Improve your endurance 

Pulling your body up and down with your arms takes a lot of strength and endurance. When you are just starting out. This is primarily due to the muscles in your arms, shoulders, back and core not being used to the exercise. You may be able to lift weights, but your body needs time to adjust to such an exercise. For example, when you do a pull up, not only are you lifting your body weight, but you’re also supporting it for the entire duration of the move. Holding yourself in the air with just your arms requires more endurance than you might think.

To build up your endurance, consider doing negatives and holds first. Negatives involve you starting from the top of a pull up and slowly lowering yourself down to the bottom, taking five seconds or more. You can then complete holds by holding your body in the air for 10-30 seconds.

Then progress to sets of pull ups with short breaks in between. For example, do four sets of three or five pull ups and take a break of one minute before starting the next set. Doing this will help you to gradually increase your total repetitions and eventually work up to more challenging pull ups such as weighted pull ups. Doing this will also help build the muscles in your arms, shoulders and back so that you can do more pull ups with greater ease.

6. Your weight

Your weight might be why pull ups are tiring. If you’re carrying extra weight, your body needs to work harder to lift it up during a pull up. The heavier you are, the more energy your muscles must expend to do the exercise. Even if you can barely complete one rep, that one rep is taking much more of an effort than a lighter person who can easily complete multiple reps. If you’re carrying extra weight, it’s important to focus on eating healthy and staying active to lose the excess pounds. That way, your body won’t expend as much energy doing pull ups, making them easier and less taxing.

Also, make sure you’re engaged with proper form…incorrect form can put unnecessary strain on your muscles but as you lose weight, you’ll find that pull ups become easier with practice. 

You should also consider doing bodyweight exercises that are tailored to your current fitness level. This way, you can gradually increase the difficulty of the workout over time and improve your strength. Additionally, if you’re trying to strengthen your upper back and arms for pull ups, try doing bodyweight exercises like push-ups or planks to build the necessary muscles. 

Related: Why Do I Feel Bent Over Rows In My Shoulders?

7. Fighting gravity 

When performing a pull up, your body weight is working against the force of gravity (the external force pulling you down), which requires more energy and effort to bring yourself back up. Pulling your entire body weight up requires immense muscular strength and endurance. Even if you feel like you have good upper body strength, pulling your body up against gravity can be an incredibly difficult challenge. Pull ups are especially tiring for those who don’t have a lot of upper body strength as it takes more energy and effort to overcome the force of gravity.

The higher you pull yourself, the more power and control are required to keep your body from falling down, making even one pull up a difficult task. Overall, fighting against gravity requires immense strength and endurance but with proper form, regular practice and dedication you can build the right muscles to make the most of your pull up training. 

8. You aren’t used to them 

When you first start doing pull ups, your body isn’t quite used to the movements and can be extremely fatiguing due to the high demand placed on them. In addition to this, the larger muscles in your back, arms and shoulders haven’t been trained to do a lot of work in unison together. This can cause your muscles to fatigue quickly, as they are not used to the extra stress placed on them from the pull up motion.

Your body will eventually adapt to this demand and you will become stronger as time goes on, but in the beginning stages, it can be demanding. Ultimately, pull ups are so tiring due to the fact that your body isn’t used to them and you may not have proper form in order to make sure you’re getting the most out of each repetition. With time and practice, though, you will become stronger and more efficient at doing them.  ​

9. You don’t train them enough

Pull ups require tremendous strength and endurance, and if you aren’t regularly training your muscles to get accustomed to the strain of a pull up, then it can be incredibly exhausting for your body. To make sure your body doesn’t tire too quickly, it’s important to regularly train your muscles and build up your strength. Developing a routine that includes pull ups several days a week is the best way to ensure your body has what it needs to complete pull ups without feeling so tired.

With regular training, not only will you be able to complete more pull ups without feeling as drained, but you’ll also be able to lift heavier weights and challenge yourself. Pull ups don’t always have to seem so tiring if you’re dedicated to putting in the work.

Why Are Pull Ups So Tiring?

10. Are you holding your breath?

When you hold your breath during weight-bearing exercises such as pull ups, it increases the pressure in your chest cavity and causes an increase in heart rate. This can lead to fatigue and make it harder to perform more repetitions. Additionally, holding your breath doesn’t allow for proper oxygenation of muscles or adequate recovery between sets which can also cause fatigue. To optimize your pull up performance, focus on breathing in and out while you lift. This will help increase oxygen delivery to your muscles and allow for better recovery between sets.

Regular practice is important if you wish to build strength and stamina so that they become less exhausting over time. Make sure to incorporate rest periods into your workout and use good breathing techniques while doing pull ups to improve performance and reduce fatigue.

11. Over gripping and tension

It is important to keep the muscles in your arms and back relaxed while maintaining a proper grip on the bar while doing pull ups. Many people tend to overgrip or tense up their muscles, which puts unnecessary strain on the body. Over-gripping often occurs when your hands get sweaty during exercise, so it is important to use a good grip aid to maintain control and help prevent fatigue. Additionally, staying relaxed will help conserve energy and make the pull ups less tiring for your body. When you start to feel too tired during a set of pull ups, take a break between sets in order to give your arms and back some time to rest before continuing.

Doing this will allow you to do more reps with better quality rather than just trying to push through without giving yourself any rest. Taking breaks will help prevent unnecessary strain on your muscles and reduce the chances of burning out your arms and grip when doing the exercise.

12. Do you fear them

If you aren’t in the right frame of mind, pull ups can be a daunting challenge. Many people fear the thought of having to do multiple pull ups in a row and this fear can cause them to fatigue quickly. Your body’s natural fight or flight response kicks in when you begin to feel intimidated by the task at hand, releasing adrenaline that causes your heart rate and breathing to increase. This can leave you feeling tired out before you even start doing reps. Furthermore, if your muscles are not conditioned for the exercise, then it will be difficult for them to effectively perform each rep resulting in more strain and fatigue on your body.

Additionally, if you don’t have proper motivation and focus then it will become more difficult for you to complete the required sets without becoming exhausted. The key to overcoming this fatigue is to stay focused on why you are doing the exercise and to remain disciplined throughout the entire workout session. With proper mental preparation and dedication, even the most challenging of exercises can become manageable. 

By staying mindful of why you are doing pull ups in the first place, such as improving your fitness and strength, you will be able to push past any fear or intimidation that might be holding you back from achieving your goals. Additionally, ensuring that your muscles are warmed up before exercising will make them more capable of completing each rep with greater ease. 

Related: Why Are Lat Pulldowns So Hard?

13. Fatigue of weaker muscles 

A large portion of why pull ups are so problematic is due to the fatigue of weaker muscles that may not be used on a regular basis. As you pull yourself up during a pull up, your arms, shoulders, back and core muscles have to work together in order to raise your body weight. This can be particularly difficult if these muscles are not conditioned regularly and fatigue quickly due to the strain being put upon them. Therefore, it is important to keep these muscles strong in order to make completing pull ups easier and less taxing.

Additionally, performing multiple sets of pull ups with minimal rest time in between will add to the overall fatigue a person experiences. Even if the muscles are conditioned, this type of repetition can lead to exhaustion over time. If you’re looking for an effective way to condition your body and increase strength, pull ups are definitely worth considering – just make sure to pace yourself accordingly!

By listening to your body and taking breaks when needed, you can slowly work up towards pulling off more reps with greater ease. Ultimately, the strain on muscles that aren’t frequently activated combined with multiple sets and minimal rest time can be taxing. However, through adequate preparation and conditioning, anyone can become comfortable executing pull ups without difficulty

14. Grip width and leverage 

Pull ups involve gripping a bar wider than shoulder width, which decreases the amount of leverage available for the exercise. This puts more strain on your muscles and makes it harder to raise yourself up. Additionally, having a wider grip on the bar also increases the activation of stabilizing muscles as you have less balance when holding onto the bar. With fewer points of contact, such as hands and feet, you must use more energy to keep yourself in position while doing the exercise. It’s no wonder why pull ups are one of the most challenging exercises you can do. 

The narrower your grip, the more leverage you have to help pull yourself up. But why do people use a wider grip for pull ups? It’s because when you use a wide grip, you activate different muscles than if you were using a narrower one. A wider grip also works your stabilizer muscles harder as they need to work to keep your body steady and in control. 

The less leverage you have, the more difficult it is to do the exercise, which makes pull ups such a tiring activity. While you can use different grip widths to target different muscles if you want to increase your overall strength, then focusing on using a wider grip in your pull up routine will help make them more challenging and help you achieve better results in the long run. 

15. Medical issue 

Pull ups engage many muscles, and those with conditions such as fibromyalgia, arthritis or chronic fatigue often have difficulty performing them. These conditions cause feelings of pain and extreme tiredness that can make it difficult to lift your body weight during a pull up. Additionally, people who are not used to strenuous activity may find their muscles fatigued quickly when attempting this exercise. Even those without medical conditions may feel exhausted after a few repetitions due to the energy required in order for the body to move its own weight up and down repeatedly.

For this reason, it is important that you pace yourself when doing pull ups and take regular breaks if necessary. Speak to your doctor if you have any medical conditions that may make it difficult for you to perform pull ups, and seek professional advice before starting a new exercise program. 

16. Reduced range of motion 

If you have a reduced range of motion due to injury or tight muscles from a previous workout it can make the exercise harder and more tiring. Pull-ups require a large range of motion, from the arms being fully extended to bringing the chest up close to or touching the bar. If your range of motion is limited, you may not be able to complete full reps which can make pull ups even more tiring. Additionally, if you are unable to move through a full range of motion, it’s also possible that you will not get as much benefit from doing pull ups because they are less effective at engaging all of the muscles in your back and shoulders. a limited range of motion can certainly make this exercise daunting, thus draining your energy more than usual.

It’s important to ensure that when performing any exercise, you have a full range of motion and can move through the exercise safely and effectively. If you feel like your range of motion is limited, take some time to focus on stretching and mobility exercises before attempting pull ups. This may help improve your range of motion which in turn will make the exercise less tiring.


How can I do pull ups without getting tired?

Pull ups can be hard, but if you want to do them without getting tired there are some techniques and strategies you can use. Start by doing bodyweight exercises that will help strengthen your back and shoulder muscles, such as push-ups, planks and bent over rows. Doing these exercises regularly will help you build up the necessary strength for pull ups. Additionally, focus on doing the pull up correctly; using good form helps you distribute your weight evenly and conserves energy more efficiently.

You can also do negative reps—lower yourself slowly from a fully extended arm position—to build up strength before attempting a full pull up. Finally, try to gradually increase your number of reps every day and add variations to your routine, such as wide-grip pull ups and chin-ups. With the right combination of strength training and technique, you can do pull ups without getting tired.

Do pull ups become easier?

With consistent practice over time, pull ups will become easier. The more you do them, the stronger your upper body muscles and arms become, allowing you to lift your body weight with greater ease. It is important to remember that pull ups are a challenging exercise and that improvement will take time, so be patient and keep at it! It is also a good idea to vary your pull up routine, incorporating different grip variations and other types of bodyweight exercises to work different muscle groups. With dedication and hard work, you can see an increase in your pull up strength and make these challenging exercises easier.

How do I build stamina for pull ups?

Building stamina for pull ups requires a lot of practice and dedication. The best way to build up your strength is by doing a combination of callisthenics, bodyweight exercises, and high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Callisthenics exercises such as push ups and chin ups are a great way to strengthen your back and arms, while bodyweight exercises like burpees and squats will help build muscular endurance and overall strength. HIIT is a type of workout in which you alternate between short bursts of intense exercise and slower-paced recovery periods. This style of training is incredibly effective for strengthening and building endurance, as it pushes your body to its limits. Additionally, make sure you are getting enough rest between workouts and paying attention to proper form during your exercises. This will help prevent injury and ensure that you are getting the most out of each workout. 

How do weak people do pull ups?

If you don’t have the upper body strength to do a traditional pull up, there are modifications that can help make it easier. You can start by doing banded pull ups, where you use an exercise band to help propel yourself up. Alternatively, you can do jumping pull ups, where you use your legs to jump and help your arms pull yourself up. You can also do assisted pull ups, where you have someone spot you from below or use a machine that helps provide extra assistance. Don’t forget about the effectiveness of negatives as well. Negatives are when you start from the top of a pull up and slowly lower your body with control until your arms reach full extension. As you get stronger, you can reduce the assistance and eventually complete pull ups without any help. With practice and consistency, these options will help build the strength needed for traditional pull ups. 

Can you get a six pack from pull ups?

Pull ups are a great exercise for developing the muscles in your core, including those that make up the abdominal area. When performed regularly and with proper form, pull ups can help to strengthen the abdominals, leading to toned muscles and the potential formation of a six pack. It’s important to remember, however, that having a six pack is not just about having strong abdominal muscles. It also requires developing good eating habits and reducing body fat through diet and exercise. Pull ups can be an important part of the equation, but in order to achieve a six pack, you must have the proper nutrition and lifestyle habits as well.

Final thoughts…

Pull ups require a lot of energy and coordination to perform. Not only do they engage multiple muscle groups, but they also require you to have good form and technique and use your stabilizing muscles in order to lift your entire body weight up against gravity. Additionally, having a reduced range of motion due to tight muscles or medical conditions can make pull ups even more tiring. All of these factors contribute to why pull ups can be so tiring, even for those who are used to doing them.

It’s important to ensure that you have an adequate range of motion and technique before attempting this exercise, and take regular breaks if necessary to ensure safety and reduce fatigue. 

Do you find pull ups tiring and have these tips helped? Let me know in the comments below.

If you enjoy sport and use CBD to help with your recovery in between gruelling workouts, then you are in the right place. Here at Sport CBDs, we train hard and recover the best way possible…

We have regular workouts (check out the YouTube channel), CBD news and CBD products to help you gain that edge! 

If you wanted to check out the reputable CBD we have on offer here at the site, then please head to the Sport CBDs Store (CLICK HERE). We also do fitness clothing and yoga accessories too. 

Until next time, all the best…

Beginners Upper Body Kettlebell Workout


Founder – Sport CBDs

Featured Image attributionImage by bublikhaus on Freepik

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