Plenty of guys in the gym can bang out a dozen pullups like it's nothing. But what's far more difficult—and far less common—is getting those guys to change up that routine and tackle a more difficult upper-body challenge

Fortunately, you're not those guys. And if you've been looking for a new pullup variation that'll take your ability to the next level, grab your trusty gym sweat rag and try some towel pullups.

What are towel pullups?

By grasping a towel versus just the bar, you seriously intensify the grip challenge, making the whole move harder.

The how-to is pretty much what you’d expect: Drape a towel over a pullup bar, grab hold of an end of the towel in each hand, and pull up.

Towel pullup

What’s so great about towel pullups?

Grip strength is clutch (pun intended) for so many of your lifts, not to mention in, y'know, life. The hand position when gripping a towel for a pullup keeps the wrists mostly neutral, which strengthens the wrists and forearms without any uncomfortable twisting.

How can you use it?

Add it to your pullup circuit—along with wide-grip pullups, neutral-grip pullups, and chinups—or replace one or more of your pullup sets (perhaps minus a rep or two per set) with the towel-grip version.