Pull ups can be one of the worst exercises to get started on. Generally those who start weightlifting go straight to bicep curls or flat bench press without a second thought on building up back strength. I know this because I was just one of those people. It only occurred to me after a few months when I watched a guy trying to do pull ups - I wondered if I could do them. To my dismay, I could only do 2! This was an such an eye-opener for me so I started looking at ways to increase my reps, here's what I came up with.
Do Pull Ups Daily
This may sound extreme but it really isn't as bad as it sounds. You need to get one of those over-the-door bars to do pull ups at home. You can get them from many shops but if your not sure what it is, the image to the right is what it looks like. Failing that, if you have a gym membership just use the one in there but you will have to go everyday to do this. Start by doing your max reps ie. the amount you can do to failure. This for me was 2, do this everyday for a week. Then start to increase by one rep every couple of days. After about a month you should find yourself able to do at least double the reps you started on. This for me was about 7-8 reps after only a month.
Get Some Assistance!
To further your repetitions you need to start making use of those last "almost there" pull ups. To do this get some assistance from a gym buddy or a member of staff. All they need to do is wait until you cannot do another rep, then position their hands under your feet (which should be crossed and your legs slightly bent). You can then use their hands as a platform to do at least two more pull ups. Again, do this frequently at the gym for the best results.
Use The Hardest Grip
There are many grips you can use when doing pull ups so make sure you are doing the one that uses the most back muscles. This, for me, is with hands just over shoulder width apart and palms forward. If you do a close grip with palms facing you then you are using slightly different muscles so try to do wide grip pull ups with palms facing forward.