How to Do Pull-Ups USMC-Style

In boot camp, all male Marine recruits are required to do pull-ups. Women have to do flexed-arm hangs, which are just as important and can be an extra pain because they don’t get a moment to rest and mentally readjust (not to mention that if a woman is honestly holding it as long as possible, her muscles will start to shake and some people get embarrassed…but it’s what should actually happen). This article, however, focuses on just pull ups because the technique is different.

How To Do Marine Corps Pull Ups

The correct way to start your pull-ups is to mount the bar with your hands facing toward you or away from you. You may do one or the other, but both hands must face the same direction. Your legs do not have to stay straight; they may be held straight or bent as long as they are not raised above your waist.

In boot camp, recruits must lift their chin ABOVE the bar and then fully extend their arms again. Kicking to gain momentum is not permitted. Recruits are required to come to a full pause in the down position to prevent any momentum movements to help boost the recruit up.

How Many Pull Ups Do Marines Have to Do?

Each pull-up on the PFT is worth 5 points, and is scored up to a max of 100 points (20 pull-ups). The minimum required number of pulls ups for male recruits is 3 pull-ups.

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