Test Yourself With This Burpee Pull-Up Workout

Pull Up Workout
(Image credit: Unknown)

Pull-ups and burpees are two of the best bodyweight exercises you can do. They work muscles all over the body and, in the case of burpees, get your heart pumping as well. You could just do those moves for the rest of your life and stay in pretty good shape.

The caveat is that both are quite hard. Well, really hard. And mixing them together into one savage session is really, really hard.

That’s exactly what PT James Middleton has done with this reverse ladder workout, which starts with nine reps of each move and descends to one rep of each. We’ll get to the workout in a second, but first some advice from Middleton on common pull-up mistakes.

Common Pull-Up Mistakes To Avoid

  •  “Don’t go too wide with your grip,” says Middleton. “This will force your elbows out to the sides more, which affects the position of your shoulders and can lead to injury. A shoulder-width grip, or slightly wider, is optimal for this movement.”
  • 2. “A pull-up should be performed with strength and not with momentum,” says Middleton. “Avoid any kicking and swinging.”
  • 3. “Don’t pull up on one side more than the other to avoid creating imbalances,” says Middleton

Burpee And Pull-Up Ladder Workout

This reverse ladder workout involves doing sets of nine reps of both exercises, then sets of eight, then seven and so on down to the final sets of one rep of each. Take 60 seconds of rest after completing both moves in each round, and if you’re feeling strong see how far you can climb back up the ladder.


Hold a pull-up bar with an overhand grip, palms facing forwards, hands shoulder-width apart. Brace your core and pull yourself up until your chin is above the bar, then come back down with control – no swinging!

Chest-to-floor burpee

From standing, drop your hands to the outside of your feet, then jump your feet back so you land in a high plank position. Bend your elbows to lower your body until your chest touches the floor, then push back up, jump your feet forwards to be beside your hands and leap straight up, raising your hands above your head.

Nick Harris-Fry
Senior writer

Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.