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Top 7 Benefits of Pull Ups – Why They Must Be in Your Workout Routine

    benefits of pull ups

    Do you wonder about the benefits of pull ups? Some experts say pull ups are the king of upper body strength exercises.

    I have the same opinion because this compound exercise works the entire upper body, strengthening almost all the muscles at once.

    I believe pull ups must be in everyone’s workout routine, whether you prefer lifting weights or doing only bodyweight exercises.

    Frankly, many years ago, when I started muscle building, I only lifted for my back training.

    Almost everyone did the same at the gym, and as a newbie, I just followed them.

    calisthenics street workout

    Then, when calisthenics became more popular, and I saw the first videos about street workouts, I became more interested in pull-ups.

    Those men do only pull-ups, and they have such a physique that they put some bodybuilders to shame.

    So, I started doing pull-ups, chin-ups, and their variations.

    The beginning was not easy. I could hardly do a few proper pull-ups, but I could increase the number of reps to an adequate quantity with time.

     

    What Results Did I Get?

    My back and shoulders became much broader. Also, my biceps and grips helped me perform weight lifting exercises even better.

    Pull ups results

    Finally, I used to have problems with my lower back, but the pain disappeared as the pull-up did not stress that area.

    To sum up, pull-ups work and work much better than other back exercises. 

    Interested in all the benefits of pull ups? Read on, and I’m sure you will include it in your workout plan.

     

    How to Do Pull-Ups Properly ??

    How to Do Pull-Ups Properly

    While pull-ups seem a pretty straightforward exercise, it is a complicated move and rather tricky for a beginner.

    For me took time to perform clean pull-ups in a row.

    Proper technique is vital since that is the only way to get the desired results from the exercise.

    With pull-ups, you need quality over quantity. A weak form may lead to muscle damage such as shoulder injury. 

    Here is the pull-up tutorial.

     

     

    Here are the steps to do pull-ups the right way.

     

    The Starting Position

    Pull Up Starting Position

    Grab the bar with overhand grips a bit more than shoulder-width.

    Then, just hang from it.

    I grab the bar, so my hands are not totally vertical to the ground, but my fingers point slightly downward.

    So, my wrists are bent slightly. This way, I can control the motion better.

     

    Next Step

    Pull Up Second Position

    Tighten your abs muscles and pull yourself up by using the power of your arms and back.

    Pull yourself up until your chest almost touches the pull-up bar, and continue until the bar is under your chin.

    Keep your shoulders backward and lead with your chest during the move. This way, the right muscles are activated, and you can prevent injuries. 

     

    The Final Step

    Pull Up Final Position

    Next,  slowly lower your body back to the starting position, and do the next rep.

    A common mistake is when people swing their legs to get the momentum which helps them complete the movement. That is cheating and not good for your joints.

    I have already written about the typical pull up mistakes if you are interested in the article. And check out these tips to know how to do more pull-ups.

    Now let’s go on and talk about the benefits of doing pull-ups.

     

    1. Pull-Ups Are Compound Exercises Working Many Muscles at Once ??

    major pull up muscles worked

    What are pull-ups good for?

    Compound exercises are the ones that engage more than one muscle group at once. And pull up is an excellent example of that.

    While it seems to focus on bodyweight training for the major back muscles such as your lats, it also activates many others such as your shoulders, core, triceps, biceps, forearms, and grip strength.

    It works your upper body as a whole.

    It teaches your body to coordinate multiple muscle groups to perform the movement.

    That leads to better overall strength and symmetry. Also, it is much safer than if you were focusing on one particular part.

    Finally, because pull-up is a compound move, it is an excellent choice for those who lack training time. 

    With pull-ups, you can substitute many other exercises.

     

    2. Look Big! (An Important Benefit of Pull-Ups) ?

    johnny bravo flexing

    Did you know that the latissimus dorsi, aka lat, is the broadest major muscle of your body?

    If you have ever seen a bodybuilding competition, athletes look like butterflies because of their developed back.

    With pull up, you can target the right muscles very effectively.

    Because of the big back, you look much bigger visually. Just like Johnny Bravo!

    Just do not neglect leg workouts as he does! ?

    For example, I have broad hips genetically, but my back is big, so it does not look bad.

    Note: For women? Sure! Girls can enjoy the same pull-up benefits. Do not be afraid of growing too big. Women have different biology than men. 

     

    3. Do Pull-ups Almost Anywhere ?

    Do Pull-ups Almost Anywhere

    For weight lifting, you need multiple types of equipment for home, or you need to go to the gym.

    For pull-ups? Well, nothing fancy, just a safe bar!

    If you have no time for the gym and want to strengthen at home, you can choose from different pull-up bars.

    Living in an apartment? Get a doorway bar! They are affordable, quick, and easy to install.

    See our top three below.

     

    Preview
    Overall Best
    AmazeFan Pull Up Bar Doorway with Ergonomic Grip - Fitness Chin-Up Frame for Home Gym Exercise - 2 Professional Quality Wrist Straps + Workout Guide - No Installation Needed(Fits Almost All Doors)
    Best Alternative
    KOMSURF Pull up Bar Doorway, Door Pullup Chin up Bar Home, Multifunctional Portable Dip bar Fitness, Exercise Equipment Body Gym System No Screws Trainer
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    CEAYUN Pull up Bar for Doorway, Portable Pullup Chin up Bar Home, No Screws Multifunctional Dip bar Fitness, Door Exercise Equipment Body Gym System Trainer
    Product Name
    AmazeFan Pull Up Bar Doorway
    KOMSURF Pull Up Bar for Doorway
    CEAYUN Pull up Bar for Doorway
    No Assembly Needed
    Multipurpose
    Space Saving
    Door Frame Protection
    Doorway Size
    23.33”- 36.22”
    24" to 40"
    24" to 40"
    Maximum Weight
    440 Pounds
    440 Pounds
    440 Pounds
    Overall Best
    Preview
    AmazeFan Pull Up Bar Doorway with Ergonomic Grip - Fitness Chin-Up Frame for Home Gym Exercise - 2 Professional Quality Wrist Straps + Workout Guide - No Installation Needed(Fits Almost All Doors)
    Product Name
    AmazeFan Pull Up Bar Doorway
    No Assembly Needed
    Multipurpose
    Space Saving
    Door Frame Protection
    Doorway Size
    23.33”- 36.22”
    Maximum Weight
    440 Pounds
    Interested?
    Best Alternative
    Preview
    KOMSURF Pull up Bar Doorway, Door Pullup Chin up Bar Home, Multifunctional Portable Dip bar Fitness, Exercise Equipment Body Gym System No Screws Trainer
    Product Name
    KOMSURF Pull Up Bar for Doorway
    No Assembly Needed
    Multipurpose
    Space Saving
    Door Frame Protection
    Doorway Size
    24" to 40"
    Maximum Weight
    440 Pounds
    Interested?
    Best Price
    Preview
    CEAYUN Pull up Bar for Doorway, Portable Pullup Chin up Bar Home, No Screws Multifunctional Dip bar Fitness, Door Exercise Equipment Body Gym System Trainer
    Product Name
    CEAYUN Pull up Bar for Doorway
    No Assembly Needed
    Multipurpose
    Space Saving
    Door Frame Protection
    Doorway Size
    24" to 40"
    Maximum Weight
    440 Pounds
    Interested?

     

    Have space and want a better pull-up bar? Get a convenient freestanding one (power tower)?

    These are great as you can do multiple exercises and variations.

     

     

    Here is a detailed guide on pull up bars for home. 

    Finally, there are workout parks in many cities where you can train for free.

    But, if not, just get to the kids’ playground and use the monkey bars to exercise.

     

    4. Many Pull Up Variations for Versatility, Fitness Level, and Targeting ?

     

    Pull Up Variations

    Repeatedly doing the same exercises is not just dull but may adversely affect your progress.

    That will not happen since you can try many pull-up variations for your level or target specific muscles better.

    For example, if you can perform 15 clean pull-ups, you can try the archer pull-up.

    At the end of the motion, the archer pull-up requires you to place your body weight to the sides.

    And, if you are a pro, you can do one-arm pull-ups. This way, you can give your muscles progressive overload, which leads to continuous improvement.

     

    What if you are a beginner?

    You can get started with a machine-assisted pull-up when you use the machine or a rubber band to get a little help.

    This way, you get used to the correct technique and be able to do more reps. In the end, you will be ready for standard pull-ups.

    See our top three recommended assisted pull-up machines. 

    These will get you started with pull-ups, and you can do many variations with them.

    Also, you can use little or no weights when you become strong enough to do Pull-ups without assistance.

     

    Preview
    Overall Best
    RELIFE REBUILD YOUR LIFE Power Tower Workout Dip Station for Home Gym Strength Training Fitness Equipment Newer Version
    Best Alternative
    Sportsroyals Power Tower Pull Up Dip Station Adjustable Multi-Function Home Gym Strength Training Fitness Equipment Newer Version
    Best Budget
    MAGIC FIT Power Tower Dip/Pull Up Station Multi-Function Workout Equipment for Home Gym Training Fitness Exercise 8 Levels Adjustable Height
    Product Name
    Relife Rebuild Your Life Workout Dip Station
    Sportsroyals Power Tower Pull Up Dip Station
    MAGIC FIT Power Tower Dip/Pull Up Station
    Multi-function
    Ergonomic Design
    Height Adjustment
    9 Levels
    6 Levels
    8 Levels
    Backrest Adjustment
    4 Positions
    7 Positions
    4 Positions
    Construction
    Sturdy Construction
    Heavy-duty Construction
    Sturdy Construction
    Overall Best
    Preview
    RELIFE REBUILD YOUR LIFE Power Tower Workout Dip Station for Home Gym Strength Training Fitness Equipment Newer Version
    Product Name
    Relife Rebuild Your Life Workout Dip Station
    Multi-function
    Ergonomic Design
    Height Adjustment
    9 Levels
    Backrest Adjustment
    4 Positions
    Construction
    Sturdy Construction
    Interested?
    Best Alternative
    Preview
    Sportsroyals Power Tower Pull Up Dip Station Adjustable Multi-Function Home Gym Strength Training Fitness Equipment Newer Version
    Product Name
    Sportsroyals Power Tower Pull Up Dip Station
    Multi-function
    Ergonomic Design
    Height Adjustment
    6 Levels
    Backrest Adjustment
    7 Positions
    Construction
    Heavy-duty Construction
    Interested?
    Best Budget
    Preview
    MAGIC FIT Power Tower Dip/Pull Up Station Multi-Function Workout Equipment for Home Gym Training Fitness Exercise 8 Levels Adjustable Height
    Product Name
    MAGIC FIT Power Tower Dip/Pull Up Station
    Multi-function
    Ergonomic Design
    Height Adjustment
    8 Levels
    Backrest Adjustment
    4 Positions
    Construction
    Sturdy Construction
    Interested?

     

    Pull-up variations are not only beneficial for progressive overload or your level but also let you focus on a particular muscle group.

    For example, if you do wide-grip pull-ups, it will make your lats wide. If you do chin-ups, you can build your biceps.

    Note: Variations are useful, but proper form is crucial. Do not jump to another more difficult move until you are perfect at the previous.

    I know it is tempting, but good for nothing if you do only 1-2 reps with an imperfect form. 

    Last but not least, you can increase the intensity of a pull-up in several ways.

    You can use a weighted vest or put weight plates on a workout belt for additional resistance.

    Or, you can use a gym ring instead for even more versatility.

    From the following video, you can learn a few exceptional examples.

     

    5. It Boosts Your Grip Strength and Forearm ✨

    Pull ups boosts grip strength

    A typical mistake of gym-goers is that they do not care about their grip and forearm strength.

    They do not strengthen them because they think other exercises like biceps curls will do.

    Then, as they improve and want to lift heavier weights, for example, doing deadlifts, the barbell slips out from their palms.

    Pull-ups are great to prevent this problem because they build grip strength. 

    Just think about it. When you do it, your grips have to hold your entire body weight for many seconds or even minutes if you do a lot of repetitions.

    You cannot get similar grip and forearm strength training with a barbell or a dumbbell.

    When I switched to bodyweight training, I felt a huge difference after a few months. For example, my deadlift became much better. I was also unbeatable at arm wrestling.

    Finally, a massive and strong lower arm is a sign of manliness. So, get going and do pull-ups!

     

    6. Healthier Back Muscles ?

    Pull Ups Gives Healthier Back Muscles

    One reason people have back pain and bad posture are weak back muscles.

    Most of us sit too much every day, which leads to a bad posture.

    With pull-ups, you can make your body more attractive and keep back muscles healthy.

    Having a strong back makes it easier to hold yourself up. You will have much better posture and balance.

    Also, pull-ups build functional strength that you can use in everyday life when you have to lift something and do other physical activities. 

    And, because of the stronger muscles, you do not have to be afraid of getting a back injury.

     

    7. Pull Up Benefits for Cardio and Fat Loss ?

    Pull Up Benefits for Cardio and Fat Loss

    The pull-up is not the best practice for cardio and weight loss, but it supports both in two ways.

    Firstly, because it is a compound exercise, multiple muscles, big and small, are engaged, and for functioning, they require oxygen and calories.

    Hence, your lung works more, and your heart rate increases so that we can enjoy cardiovascular benefits.

    Also, your body burns more calories to give fuel to the fibers. OK, not as effective as running, but still better than nothing.

    Another way it supports your fat burning is by increasing your metabolism. By doing pull-ups, you increase your muscle mass, particularly your back muscles, which are among the biggest ones in your body.

    The more mass you have, the faster your metabolism since fibers require energy even if they do not work. 

    So, even if you do not train, your body burns more calories.

    As I mentioned before not the best exercise for weight loss, but small things add up in the end.

    Related: Lat pulldown vs. pull up

     

    Summary ?

    Fitness success requires effort

    After reading many of the benefits of pull-ups, I’m sure you understand why we call it the king of upper body strength exercises.

    It gives you massive back, shoulders, arms, and functional strength that you can use in any sport.

    There is a good reason why Navy Seals do so many pull-ups daily.

    Please let us know if you have any questions or just want to tell your success story with pull-ups. Don’t forget to share this post.

    Last update on 2023-11-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    nv-author-image

    James Wright

    James (36) has been working out since he was 15 years old. He has a home gym where he pumps iron, does bodyweight workouts and boxing. He likes sharing his experiences with others who want to build a better physique.

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