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Pull exercises involve pulling weights toward your body. They are strength training exercises involving concentric contraction – a situation whereby the muscles shorten when two connecting points move closer.
Most exercises involve pulling and pushing movements. And a well-rounded training regimen should include both pull and pull exercises.
But our concentration will be on pull exercises that can build strength and muscle mass.
Most pull exercises use the biceps, glutes, hamstrings, and back muscles. They involve using such gym equipment as dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, cable machines, or your body weight.
Building those muscles can help the body function properly and help with such activities as opening doors, lifting heavy objects from the floor, etc.
Best pull exercises for strength and muscle size
Here are some top pull exercises for building strength and muscle mass. Include these in your pull day exercises as part of your training regimen.
The lat pulldown uses a cable machine with weight plates, which is one of the most widely-used gym equipment in many commercial and home
The lat pulldown is one of the best back-building pull exercises for building back muscle and strength.
Single-Arm Dumbbell Rows
The single-arm dumbbell row is one of the pull exercises for working the back muscles for growth and strength.
Apart from your lats, which the exercise targets, the exercise can also engage and work your entire back, arm, and shoulders.
Using one arm for the exercise allows you to focus on one side of your body, making it possible to isolate your lats, lift more weight, and lift the dumbbell much higher than you will in the two-arm version.
The single-arm row also allows you to correct any imbalances you may have.
Include the one-arm dumbbell row pull exercises in your back workouts or full-body training regimen
Face pulls are some of the best exercises for targeting and working the posterior deltoids of the shoulders. It is an effective way to build shoulder strength and help stop muscular imbalances.
The face pulls exercises will target and strengthen your rear delt, traps, and upper back muscles.
Strong shoulders can help you perform such everyday activities as pulling, lifting, pressing, and rotating the arms.
You will need a cable machine with weight for the exercise. Face pulls involve pulling the weight straight to your face.
Weak shoulders can affect your posture. Thus include exercises that can target and strengthen them in your training.
Include the pull exercises in your upper body, shoulder, back, or pull day training regimen.
The dumbbell pullovers are chest and back exercises and some of the best pull exercises for building a broad chest.
The dumbbell pullovers target your lats or middle to lower back muscles, chest, core muscles, and triceps.
The pullovers can improve upper body and chest flexibility, making it a beneficial exercise for those who spend hours on the computer or do desk jobs.
It is also one of the best pull exercises that engage and strengthen other nearby muscles like the triceps and biceps more than similar exercises.
You will need a dumbbell and a weight bench for the exercise. Start with a low-weight dumbbell if it is your first attempt.
Pull ups are conventional exercises for the upper back muscles.
Vertical pull exercises should be foundational movements that should form part of any training regimen, and pull ups are one such exercise.
Include the pull exercises at home in your back, pull, upper body, or whole body workouts.
Steps to follow
To do the pull exercise,
- Use an overhand grip to grab the bar. Ensure you keep your hands apart by more than shoulder-width
- Inhale, squeeze your glutes, brace your abs, and activate your lats
- Lift your body while bending your elbows.
- Keep lifting your body until your chin is in line with the bar.
- Hold for 1-2 seconds and lower your body to your starting position.
- Repeat for 2-5 reps
Chin-ups are a variation of the pull-up exercises and target the same back muscles, especially the lats.
Chin-ups differ in that you use an underhand grip to grab the bar. Doing so allows you to involve your biceps much more in the pulling movement.
Include the chip-up pulling exercises in your back, upper body, pull, and whole body workouts to help you build a more balanced physique.
Incline Bench Two Arm Dumbbell Row
The incline bench two-arm dumbbell row is one of the pull exercises that can strengthen and build your back muscles.
You will need a weight bench, set to incline, for the exercise. You will also need a pair of dumbbells.
Supporting your chest on a weight bench removes the pressure from your back and adds stability to the exercise, allowing you to target and isolate your back muscles.
The incline position also allows you to move more weight than you usually do. Lifting more weight means you gain more muscles within a shorter period.
The incline bench two-arm dumbbell row is one of the best pull exercises for anyone looking to build their back and biceps.
Seated Cable Row
The seated cable row is one of the best cable pull exercises for targeting and building your back, upper arm, and forearms.
The exercise can also target your rhomboids, traps, shoulders, upper back, glutes, and hamstrings.
You will need a weighted cable machine with a built-in weight bench and a footplate for the exercises. Alternatively, you can sit on the floor in front of any weighted cable machine.
It can help prevent back and shoulder injury while strengthening your upper body muscles. The exercise requires you to engage your abs and keep your back straight while using your legs, helping to prevent strain and injury.
The seated cable row is one of the best pull exercises that prepares you for deadlifts and squats.
Include the seated cable row exercises in your upper-body strength training regimen
The Pendlay row is one of the barbell pull exercises that can help build strong upper body muscles.
The Pendlay row involves starting the barbell row for a dead-stop position, as opposed to the barbell row that has the barbell hovering above the floor.
Starting from a dead-stop position will require you to contract your back to help pull the weight to your body. That allows you to build explosive power.
And unlike the classic row, you keep your torso parallel to the floor. That hinge position provides isometric strength for the hamstrings and lower back muscles while strengthening your lats and upper back.
Include T bar rows or similar row exercises in your training regimen if you want a back that is thick and densely muscled.
Using a neutral grip for the exercise and pulling with both hands allows you to lift more weight than possible, making it possible to build more muscle mass.
The T bar row pull exercises puts less pressure on your shoulder joints, making it appropriate for those with shoulder-joint worries.
Standing Cable Reverse Fly
The standing reverse fly is some of the best pull exercises with cables for building your shoulders and upper back muscles. The reverse fly targets your delts, lats, triceps, and rhomboids.
It is one of the best pull exercises for shoulder stability and posture to include in your shoulder, back or whole body workout.
You will need a twin cable machine or two cables with handles for the exercise.
Preacher Curl (with EZ Curl Bar)
The preacher curl is a variation of the classic bicep curl. The exercise involves placing your arms on a preacher curl bench. It is one of the best pull exercises for isolating the biceps.
Placing your arms at an angle allows you to challenge the heads of the bicep muscles. That allows you to build bicep peaks to give you biceps that stand out.
Using an EZ curl bar for the exercises puts less strain on your forearms, allowing you to exercise safely.
Start with a lighter weight, as too much weight can put pressure on the front side of your elbows, causing injury.
As an isolation exercise, do the preacher curls towards the end of your workout to build an aesthetic physique.
Concentration curls are one of the popular bodybuilding pull exercises for the biceps. The exercise allows you to concentrate all your energy into your bicep muscles.
It is a unilateral exercise that works independently on each bicep, allowing you to correct any imbalances.
Do the concentration curls towards the end of your workout. That will allow you to maximize results
Final words from LiveLIfe
There are many ways to train and build your muscles to give you the healthy, well-toned body you want.
You don’t need to do the same exercises continuously and get bored.
Incorporate some of these pull exercises into your training regimen to add variety and help boost your results. Your pull day exercises should not be that boring
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