Frenchies for pull-up progression

Pull ups are a natural result of climbing religiously, but sometimes we hit that plateau. Pull ups, as opposed to chin ups, work many muscles making them an effective workout for your forearms, shoulders, arms and core. One way to work on our pull up and lock off strength are Frenchies. Frenchies require you to be able to do at least one pull up. If you’re not quite there yet, give it time. Get on the hangboard every time you’re at the gym or simply keep climbing.

How to - Frenchies poster

Steps for completion of one frenchie


1. Start with a dead hang. You may keep a slight bend in your arms if you wish – this will slightly increase the difficulty of the movement.

2. Pull up, chin over the bar/hangboard. Hold for 3 seconds.

3. Slowly lower down to bent arms at 90 degrees. Hold for 3 seconds.

4. Slowly lower down to bent arms at approx. 145 degrees. Hold for 3 seconds.

5. Lower down to straight hang (or slight arm bent hang) and repeat.

Note: Each cycle through is one frenchie.

When I do frenchies at the gym, I normally do 3 sets of max reps, with about 5 minutes of rest in between each set. You’ll find that though you may be able to do 6 or 7 regular pull ups, you might only be able to do 2 or 3 frenchies. Don’t be discouraged! Remember that this exercise works your pull up strength and your lock off strength, so they’re working much more than just regular pull ups! Do this twice a week, and you’ll surely see some rewarding results.

climb on xx

One thought on “Frenchies for pull-up progression

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s