5 Best Pulling Exercises You Can Do At Home

Which exercises are best for building a thick back and why? The importance of pulling exercises explained.

October 18, 2016
5 Best Pulling Exercises You Can Do At Home

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Most people want to look ripped from the front, but forget about the back. Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not worth a lot of attention.

Why must you train your back?

It’s easy to tell if someone has a bad workout program. Muscular chest and abs paired with a weak back are one of the first signs of a poor training regime.

But it’s not just aesthetics. Back training is very important for your shoulder health. Protect your shoulders by creating a muscular balance between your front and back upper body muscles. How to do it?

The importance of pulling exercises

The best way to ensure healthy, and good-looking muscular development is to balance the amount of pushing and pulling movements in your training. Aim to incorporate at least one set of pulling exercise for each pushing exercise.

Here are the best pulling exercises you can do at home with just a pull up bar.
Scroll down for details, or check out the video summary.

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1. Pull Up

The king of back exercises. It will activate every muscle in your back.

If you can't do a Pull Up yet, start doing Negative Pull Ups. Jump up to get your chin over the bar. Then lower yourself down as slowly as you can.

2. Wide Pull Up

Grip the bar with your hands a lot wider than your shoulder width. This way you should feel extra activation in your lats.

The latissimi dorsi aka "lats" are the biggest muscles of your back. Wide grip emphasises the lower part of the lats. It can help you develop a V shaped back.

3. L Sit Pull Up

This exercise requires you to raise your legs in front of you. This changes your body's center of gravity. That way you can add resistance to your pulling exercise without using extra weights.

L Sit Pull Up also activates and challenges your core muscles. Besides that, it helps you master the proper form for all pulling exercises. How? By making it impossible to kip or "cheat", you are forced to pull strict from the dead hang position.

4. Archer / Typewriter Pull Up

Although these two exercises look similar there is a difference. Archer Pull Ups are a great way to add more resistance to your back workout. The Archer Pull Up helps you build single arm strength. That makes it a smart progression for achieving the One Arm Pull Up.

Although some people call it the Typewriter Pull Up, here is the difference. The Typewriters are performed while holding a wide grip and going from side to side without lowering yourself down. For the Archer Pull Ups you lower yourself down before the next rep. That way it is focused on pulling with one arm and helps you progress to One Arm Pull Ups.

5. Chin Up

It is common knowledge that the underhand grip activates the biceps and chest more than the overhand. However, no matter which grip you use, the pulling exercises primarily work your back.

The Chin Up is a great pulling exercise for two reasons. 

First, depending on the anatomy of your back, it can put extra activation on your lower lats. That is a good way to build a visibly thicker back.

The other benefit is that the underhand grip makes Chin Up easier than regular Pull Ups. That way you can add extra reps in your back workout. Adding extra Chin Up reps, after other pulling exercises, can be a great way to ensure that you are stimulating the muscles enough to make them grow.


Make sure you balance out the pushing and pulling exercises in your workouts. For healthy as well as aesthetic reasons. No matter which pulling exercises you choose, focus on pulling from your back, not your elbows. A thick, strong back is as cool as ripped abs.

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Post a comment

  • FB7F5744-9922-45B7-B11A-97A41F8D199E 339 workouts (level 0)
    Nice article as always👍 Really helped for me! Press this link and enter to win FREE supplement stack! http://thecalife.com/giveaways/enter-to-win-a-free-strength-recovery-supplement-stack/?lucky=217 October 22, 2016
  • madbarz 111 workouts (level 10)
    Hey @solisgpedro thank you very much for your response. A lot of people mix the two so we decided to put both names. But you are right. Thank you for pointing that out, we will make sure to edit this to make it clearer. October 21, 2016
  • solisgpedro 11 workouts (level 7)
    Good post, but I saw a mistake that really surprised me: Archer Pull Ups and Typewriter Pull Ups are NOT the same exercise! - Archer Pull Ups consists on pulling yourself up to one side each rep, as you said, making more enphasis on one arm each rep, which makes it a great progression to achieve the One Arm Pull Up. All that is true, but... - Typewriter Pull Ups consists on mantaing a Wide Pull Up Hold contraction, we go from one arm to the other one, mantaining a constant stress on your back, and changing the intensity of it in each rep. Very similar, but very differents. I think you really should crear this up for your users! October 21, 2016
  • @thejoggingdaddy 746 workouts (level 114)
    Great performance like ever ... October 21, 2016
  • Paulo Nunes 645 workouts (level 127)
    💪💪💪 October 20, 2016

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