Upper Body Pull Exercises No Equipment and Bodyweight Pull Exercises

upper body pull exercises no equipment

As talked about in “Push Pull Legs Vs Upper Lower” upper body pull exercises are a key component to a complete and effective full body workout routine.There are many options when looking for upper body pull exercises at the gym.

But what is even more interesting is the options for upper body pull exercises at home with no workout equipment.

Do not let the lack of a gym membership stop you from getting a complete workout here are 8 upper body pull exercises that require no workout equipment.

Body Curl

A body curl sometimes called a sit up is an upper-body pull exercise that targets your abdomen.

When doing sit-ups always ensure your hands are not pulling on your head or neck

It is performed by laying on the floor with your knees slightly bent. While keeping your legs stationary slowly bring your upper torso up and towards your legs until you can go no higher. Then slowly lower yourself back down to the starting position. 

Make sure while you are performing this exercise to keep your arms away from the back of your head as you do not want to be pulling your head and or neck up by mistake.

T Raise

The t-raise is a great upper body exercise for the back and back of the shoulders. An area that is often times weak and neglected as it is an area that is not often seen by oneself.

To perform this exercise begin by laying face down flat on the ground with your arms spread out to the sides all in one line against the ground with arms supinated.

Slowly raise both arms at the same time towards the sky while keeping your elbows locked and arms as straight as possible. When you can raise no further slowly lower both arms to starting position.

While performing this exercise it is key to keep your body as still as possible other than your arms of course.

Also note that weight can be added to this exercise for extra resistance although even a low amount of weight will make it significantly more difficult.


Superman’s are without a doubt my favorite bodyweight exercise because it targets nearly the entire upper body especially the lower back.

The Superman is another exercise performed lying facedown on the floor but this time instead of arms spread out to the side they are typically stretched out straight ahead so they extend past your head but still are on the floor.

When performing the superman slowly lift both arms and both legs straight up off the ground as far up as you can lift them.

It is most effective when you hold the end position for a few seconds or even minutes if you are that advanced. Then slowly lower your appendages until you return to the starting position.

Pull Up

Probably the most popular upper body pull exercise even without equipment would be the pull up. It is true the pull up is usually done with a pull up bar which can be considered a piece of equipment although in reality a pull up can be performed anywhere you can grab on and hang off something overhead

Performing a pull up requires a combination of strength, technique, and practice. First, find a suitable hanging point that is tall enough for you to hang from without touching the ground. Take an overhand or pronated grip on the bar with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.

Pull your shoulder blades down and back, squeeze and engage your abs through the entire range of motion, and begin pulling your body up towards the bar. As you pull, aim to bring your chest towards the bar, rather than just lifting your chin above it.

Your elbows should be pointing down as you lift. Exhale as you pull up and inhale as you lower yourself down. If you are just starting out you may want to start with assisted pull-ups using a resistance band or a machine.

As you become stronger you can work on increasing the number of reps and sets experimenting with different grip widths and positions and challenging yourself with more advanced variations like muscle ups. Remember to always listen to your body and adjust the intensity as needed. 

Chin Up

Performing a chin up is a challenging exercise but can have many benefits if done correctly. To begin find a suitable chin-up bar or simply something to grab onto that is sturdy and can support your weight just like when doing the pull up.

The chin-up is the king of all upper body exercises especially for the back and biceps

Place your palms facing towards you in a supinated position and grip the bar shoulder-width apart. Hang from the bar or platform with your arms fully extended and engage your core muscles.

Bend your elbows and pull your body up towards the bar until your chin is above it. Keep your shoulders down and your back straight.

Pause for a moment at the top then lower yourself back down to the starting position. Repeat this exercise as many times as you feel comfortable, aiming to increase your repetitions over time.

It is important to perform a chin up with proper form to avoid injury and get the most out of the exercise. Remember to keep your body in a straight line and use your upper body strength to pull yourself up rather than swinging or momentum.

With time and practice anyone can master the chin-up and reap the benefits of increased upper body strength and muscle definition especially in the back and biceps.

Inverted Row

The inverted row is a great bodyweight exercise for working your back muscles, especially the upper back. To perform this exercise, you’ll need a horizontal bar that can support your body weight, like a pull-up bar or a Smith machine bar. Or even household items like a broomstick.

Start by lying on your back under the bar with your feet flat on the ground and your hands gripping the bar shoulder-width apart. Keep your body in a straight line from your head to your heels.

Engage your core and pull your chest up to the bar keeping your elbows close to your body. Pause at the top for a moment before slowly lowering yourself back down.

Avoid letting your hips sag or your body twist. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

You can make the exercise harder by elevating your feet on a bench or performing a single-arm variation. The inverted row is a great exercise for building a strong back without the need for heavy weights or fancy equipment. 

Towel Row

A towel row is exactly what it sounds like it is. A row but performed with a towel. Because all you need is a towel this exercise can be performed anywhere.

It is typically done with one’s back straight and as parallel to the floor as possible. While maintaining your straight posture fully extend your arms towards the ground holding one end of each end of the rope in both hands.

The key to creating resistance during this exercise is to pull each end of the towel apart from the other as hard as you can while maintaining proper form pulling through the entire range of motion.

With this in mind begin to perform rows maintaining your grip through the whole exercise also ensuring elbows are kept as close to the side of the body as possible and do not flair to the sides.

Towel Lat Pull Down

The towel lat pull down is the exact same concept but performed through the motions of a lat pull down as opposed to a row.

This means both hands gripping the towel would be fully extended above the head while maintaining grip is slowly being pulled down until both elbows reach your sides and then return back to the start and repeat.

This exercise can be performed with either a pronated or supinated grip although pronated is recommended.

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