Best Pull Exercises For Upper Body

best pull exercise for lower body

Vertical Pull Exercises For Upper Body

Pull Up

pull up for upper body
A pull up one the optimal vertical pull exercise

Instructions:

  • While your arms are pronated grab the bar just outside shoulder width or wider if desired
  • With arms fully extended slowly pull yourself towards the bar until the bar touches your upper chest or atleast passes chin level
  • Once you clear the bar slowly lower yourself back down until your arms are fully extended again and repeat 
  • If your set is done you may let go to rest
  • Ensure your shoulder blades are “tucked in” by squeezing them together during every repetition
  • Make sure to keep your feet from touching the ground during your set you can do this by bending your knees and crossing your legs
  • One last thing to keep in mind is to ensure your neck is neutral and you are always looking forward this will help avoid injury

Chin Up

Instructions:

  • While your arms are supinated grab the bar just inside shoulder width or even closer if desired
  • With arms fully extended slowly pull yourself towards the bar until the bar touches your upper chest or atleast passes chin level
  • Once you clear the bar slowly lower yourself back down until your arms are fully extended again and then you may let go to rest
  • Ensure your shoulder blades are “tucked in” by squeezing them together during every repetition
  • Make sure to keep your feet from touching the ground during your set you can do this by bending your knees and crossing your legs
  • One last thing to keep in mind is to ensure your neck is neutral and you are always looking forward this will help avoid injury

Assisted Pull Up/Chin Up

Instructions:

  • To make your pull up or chin up assisted you will need a resistance band
  • While performing either exercise ensure to have one part of the resistance band around one of your legs and another part around the bar you are pulling towards
  • The level or resistance the band offers will dictate how much it will assist you the stronger the resistance in the band the easier the exercise will seem
  • Ensure to follow the instruction for pull ups and chin ups that were already explained and simply add these steps onto your desired exercise

Weighted Pull Up/Chin Up

Instructions:

  • To make your pull up or chin up weighted you will need a lifting belt and chain
  • Put the lifting belt on having one side of the chain hooked on it
  • Place the hanging chain through one or some loose plates as much weight as you want to add
  • With the chain through the plates attach the other side of your chain back onto your lifting belt locking the plates in
  • Use the instructions referred to previously to do either exercise  just this time with a harder difficulty

Lat Pulldown

Lat pulldown the ideal alternative for those who cannot perform the pull up

Instructions:

  • While seated extend your arms to grab the straight bar if you can not reach it seated grab it before you sit down
  • You can grab this bar in anyway you want either using the grip you would to do a pull up or using the grip you would to perform a chin up
  • With arms fully extended slowly pull the bar towards you until the bar touches your upper chest or at least passes chin level
  • Once you clear the bar slowly let the bar raise back up until your arms are fully extended again ensuring to stay seated and repeat 
  • Once your set is done simply let go of the bar to rest
  • Ensure your shoulder blades are “tucked in” by squeezing them together during every repetition
  • Again just like every exercise ensure your neck and head are neutral in this case facing forward

V Grip Lat Pulldown

Instructions:

  • The instructions for this exercise are extremely identical to the ones listed for the lat pulldown
  • The only difference here is instead of using a straight bar you will be using a unique attachment known as a V bar which is a great alternative for pull downs 

One Arm Kneeling Pulldown

Instructions:

  • This exercise will involve you using a cable machine
  • Since this exercise is done one arm at a time you will need a single grip attachment
  • Set the machine to a height where you can just grab the attachment while kneeling with your arm fully extended
  • While kneeling on one leg grab the attachment with the arm from the same side you are kneeling on
  • You can use whatever kind of grip you like but I recommend a neutral grip that is slightly outside of shoulder width
  • Keep your back neck and head straight with each other and in line the whole time
  • While keeping you shoulder blades squeezed together for the set pull the cable towards you until you can pull it no more
  • Then slowly allow the cable to raise back up until your arm is fully extended again
  • Repeat until set is done then switch kneeling position and arm and follow the same steps for the other side

X Lat Pulldown

Instructions:

  • You will need access to two cable or pulley machines for this exercises
  • Using a single grip attachment on both set them to the highest possible height
  • While standing reach across your body grabbing each cable machine with a pronated grip
  • This should look like you are forming a X like shape with your arms in front of you
  • Keep your back neck and head straight with each other and in line the whole time
  • While keeping you shoulder blades squeezed together for the set pull the cable down bringing your elbow back towards your body until you can pull it no more 
  • Slowly allow the cable to raise back up to starting position where you formed the X
  • Repeat until set is done

Deadlift

The deadlift is a great pull exercise to target the entire upper body and the single most important exercise for working your body as a hole. It is the golden exercise (see Golden 5 Exercises)

deadlift for upper body
Powerlifter performing a barbell deadlift

Instructions:

  • Have a regular barbell loaded with weights on the ground slightly in front of you, not close enough to touch your ankles but close enough to where the bar is over the tips of your feet
  • While keeping your back and head and in turn your spine and neck in line bend your back about 45 degrees
  • Slowly bend your knees with your back in this position until you are lower enough to the ground to grab the bar
  • Grab the bar from slightly outside where your legs are placed I recommend an overhand grip although many use an over/under grip for a sense of stronger grip
  • When you are ready remembering to keep your spine and neck aligned begin to stand up pushing your legs into the ground to help you do so and lift the weight
  • With no time between once you feel your are stood up bring your back and head up until it is once again perpendicular to the ground
  • Safely lower the bar again by reversing these steps remembering to keep your back aligned and straight at all times 
  • Repeat until set is done

Dumbbell Pullover 

dumbbell pull over
Dumbbell pullover

Instructions:

  • This exercise is typically done while laying your back sideways on a bench having your feet support your bent legs on one side and having your stretched out arms almost able to touch the ground on the other
  • Sitting on the bench sideways  using one dumbbell grasp it to where your arms are pronated but instead of gripping it like you would a mug you bring your hand towards each other forming a triangle shape
  • Have the grip if the dumbbell sit in the triangle shaped hole your hands create
  • Bring your hands further together until they can press against the dumbell no more and close your fingers on the end of the dumbell to further your grip
  • Keeping your feet planted lower your butt off the edge of the bench slightly bending your knees
  • Maintaining the grip of the dumbbell raise it so your able to get you back laid flat across the bench
  • Your arms with the dumbbell should be hanging off one side almost if not touching the ground
  • In this position while keeping your elbows just ever so slightly bent raise the dumbbell until it can be seen straight above you then stretch back out lowering the dumbbell to or near the floor again
  • Repeat until set is complete

Horizontal Pull Exercises For Upper Body

Inverted Row

Instructions:

  • This is a body weight exercise performed with a stationary bar
  • Lay below the bar to where it is high above you at just below chest level
  • Grab the bar with both arms using desired grip i recommend  overhand
  • Keeping feet flat on the ground and back straight pull yourself towards the bar until it touches your mid section or as far as you can
  • If it is too difficult the more you bend your knees and the closer you bring your legs towards you the easier the exercise will become 
  • Slowly lower yourself back down until arms are straight
  • Repeat movement for desired amount of repetitions

Bent Over Barbell Row

Instructions:

  • Have a loaded barbell below you just like you would for the deadlift talked about earlier
  • Bend down the same way as in the deadlift  in order to grab the bar
  • The difference between this and the deadlift is you will not stand all the way up once you pickup the bar you will stop while your knees are slightly bent and your back is still at atleast a 45 degree angle
  • While in this bent over position while keeping your back in that roughly 45 degree angle bring the dumbbell towards your belly button once it touches your body lower it until your arms are straight again
  • Keep doing this movement until your seat is complete

Incline Barbell Row

Instructions:

  • This exercise will be done while laying belly flat on a bench set to your desired level of incline
  • Have a loaded barbell ready on the floor not far in front of you
  • With your belly flat against the bench and legs planted on the ground lean over and grab the barbell in front of you with desired grip
  • If you can not reach the barbell while laying on the bench you may have to pick it up beforehand and lift it over the top part of the bench while you rest your front side against the bench
  • Holding the barbell straight in front of you with a grip slightly outside of shoulder width pull the barbell bringing it closer to the bench as close as you can pull it.
  • Then slowly lower it again until your arms return to a straight position
  • Repeat this movement for the desired amount of repetitions

Bent Over Dumbbell Row

Bent over dumbbell row

Instructions:

  • Use the exact same instructions as the bent over barbell row replacing the barbell with two dumbbells instead
  • Since you are using dumbbells you can hold them to where the grip is vertical if so desired

Kneeling Dumbbell Row

Instructions:

  • This exercise only uses one dumbbell and a bench
  • Perching up one knee on the bench and that same arm placed on it for stabilisation have your other leg extended out to the side
  • While keeping your back straight and as parallel to the floor as possible for most effectiveness pickup the dumbbell using desired grip with your free arm(the one not perched on the bench)
  • Pull that dumbbell towards the level of your belly button keeping your elbow tight to your side
  • Slowly lower back down the dumbbell until arm is straight again 
  • Repeat exercise for desired amount of repetitions

Kneeling Dumbbell High Row

Instructions:

  • Follow the same instruction given for the kneeling dumbbell row only this time bringing the dumbbell to the level of your mid chest rather than your belly button area

Incline Dumbbell Row

Instructions:

  • Follow the same instructions given for the incline barbell row simply replacing the barbell with two dumbbells 

Cable Row

Cable row
Cable row

Instructions:

  • For the cable row you will need a cable row machine which is quite common
  • Sitting upright on the machine attach desired grip to the cable
  • Rest both feet on the appropriate rest platforms  if there does not happen to be any you may need to rest them on the floor
  • With feet rested grab the cable and attached grip
  • While keeping arms straight ensure you are sitting upright while holding the grip keeping your back straight up and in line with your neck
  • Push through your legs and pull your arms towards your stomach while maintaining posture and keeping elbows tight to your side
  • Slowly let cable pull you back to where your arms are straight again
  • Repeat exercise for desired number of repetitions

T Bar Row

Instructions:

  • You will need a barbell and a T bar row platform for this exercise
  • If you do not have access to a T bar row platform a corner between walls could work but keep in mind this may scratch your walls
  • Place one end of your barbell into the T bar row platform or tight into the corner
  • Proceed to load the other end of barbell with desired amount of weight
  • Grab a desired grip I recommend the V grip and place that grip under the bar right underneath where you loaded your weight 
  • The grip should now be in such a position to where when you pull on the grip it will pull up on the end of the bar and attached weight as well
  • While holding the grip ensure your knees are bent and your back is at about a 45 degree angle
  • Keeping back straight and aligned with your head pull the grip towards your body at about belly button level in turn also pulling the weight towards your body
  • Keeping elbows tight to your side slowly lower the bar until your arms are straight again
  • Repeat movement for desired amount of reps

Cable Face Pull

Instructions:

  • Using a cable machine have it set to about the level of your nose if not slightly lower
  • Any kind of grip that you can use while supinated will work but ropes is my recommendation
  • While standing straight looking forward with back in line grip the ropes with a supinated grip
  • Pull back with elbows flaring out  until your cable gets close to or touches your face
  • Slowly let cable return to starting position until arms are straight again
  • Repeat for desired number of repetitions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Are muffin top and love handles the same

Are Muffin Top And Love Handles The Same?

Upper body strength to do a pull up

How To Build Upper Body Strength To Do A Pull Up