Commando pull-ups are an advanced bodyweight exercise for building upper-body strength. This workout uses a unique hand position to target your triceps, latissimus dorsi, and core muscles. To practice commando pull-ups, grip the bar with an overhand and underhand grip, starting from a dead hang position, lift yourself up towards the pull-up bar, moving your head to one side of the bar at the top position, before lowering yourself down and repeating the movement.\nIf this is your first time performing an advanced pull-up variation, consider practicing [close grip](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/close-grip-pull-ups-guide) or [wide grip pull-ups](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/wide-grip-pull-ups-guide) first to get comfortable with the movement and build the necessary strength. For the commando pull-up, begin by performing 2–3 sets of 6–10 repetitions on each side. Choose your sets and repetitions based on your ability to maintain good technique throughout all sets and repetitions.\n\n1. Stand alongside a pull-up bar and grab it with a mixed grip, with one hand behind the other. You can stand on a plyometric box or a secure flat bench to reach the pull-up bar.\n2. Step off of the box and allow your legs to hang. Your arms and legs should be long, and your elbows should be slightly bent.\n3. Engage your lower body by squeezing your glutes and quads. Your ribs should be down and your pelvis should be slightly tucked.\n4. Rotate your shoulders outward to engage your lats. Your shoulder blades should be upwardly rotated away from your spine. Your chin should remain tucked throughout the full range of motion as if you were holding an egg under your chin.\n5. Initiate the upward movement by simultaneously pulling your shoulder blades down and pulling your elbows towards your body while pulling one side of your upper body toward the pull-up bar.\n6. Continue to pull your shoulder blades toward your spine, and squeeze your upper back and lat muscles until one side of your shoulder reaches the pull-up bar.\n7. Pause for a second at the top of the movement.\n8. Begin the downward movement by simultaneously straightening your arms and allowing your shoulder blades to downwardly rotate and move away from your spine.\n9. Slowly lower your body back to the starting position. Your arms should be long with a slight bend in your elbow, and your shoulder blades should be away from your spine.\n10. Continue performing the commando pull-up, alternating sides until you complete your desired number of repetitions.\nThere are several notable benefits to practicing commando pull-ups:\n\n1. __Commando pull-ups build grip strength__. Commando pull-ups simultaneously use an overhand grip and underhand grip (known as a neutral grip), increasing the activation of the muscles in your hands and forearms. \n2. __Commando pull-ups diversify your workout routine__. Pull-ups are a staple of many calisthenics and strength-training programs, and switching your routine can keep your workout fun and challenging. Commando pull-ups offer a strength-building twist on the regular pull-up.\n3. __Commando pull-ups prepare you for advanced pull-up variations__. Commando pull-ups place an increased level of activation on your shoulder, arm, and back muscles that will help you build the strength you need to perform more difficult pull-up variations, such as the clapping pull-up, neck pull-up, Australian pull-up, archer pull-up, L-sit pull-up, or one arm pull-up. \nIf you have a previous or pre-existing health condition, consult your physician before beginning an exercise program. Proper exercise technique is essential to ensure the safety and effectiveness of an exercise program, but you may need to modify each exercise to attain optimal results based on your individual needs. Always select a weight that allows you to have full control of your body throughout the movement. When performing any exercise, pay close attention to your body, and stop immediately if you note pain or discomfort.\n\nIn order to see continual progress and build body strength, incorporate proper warm-ups, rest, and nutrition into your exercise program. Your results will ultimately be based on your ability to adequately recover from your workouts. Rest for 24 to 48 hours before training the same muscle groups to allow sufficient recovery.\nThrow on some athleisure, fire up a [MasterClass Annual Membership](https://www.masterclass.com), and get ready to sweat it out with exclusive instructional videos from Nike Master Trainer and *GQ* fitness specialist Joe Holder. Want to improve your cardiovascular endurance? Give Joe’s HIIT workout a go. Trying to get a little swole? He’s got a strength training workout for that. From fitness tips to nutrition hacks, Joe will have you feeling healthier in no time.\nCommando pull-ups are an advanced pull-up variation that can build upper-body strength.