Have you ever heard of the push/pull workout method? It's a strength-training method that splits your workout sessions into pushing or pulling exercises.
Splitting up your workout routine in this way helps you achieve maximum hypertrophy.If you want to work out like some of the world's top bodybuilders, then you should give the push/pull method a try!
To help you get started, we're sharing our ten favorite pulling exercises for muscle and body strength growth. Each exercise is a pulling movement initiated from one of your pulling muscles, including the biceps, back, and forearms.
Get working on our ten best pull exercises to kick start massive muscle growth today!
First up, the king of all exercises, the deadlift. We cannot say enough good things about the deadlift. Not only is it one of the best pull exercises, but it's one of the best exercises in general. It has several benefits, including:
Additionally, the deadlift works almost all lower and upper body muscles in the posterior chain, including the:
Moreover, if you want to build muscle like the top bodybuilders, you must do deadlifts!
Here is how to do deadlifts with proper form:
Next up, fire up your shoulder and back muscles with lat pulldowns! This classic cable exercise is one of the best exercises for the latissimus dorsi, also known as the lats.
The lats are the largest muscles in the back. They span almost the entire middle and lower back. Therefore, if you want an overall powerful back, the lats should be your top priority.
Before getting started, you need to set up the pulldown machine. First, sit on the seat and reach up to grab the handlebar. You want to be able to reach up and grab it overhand with almost straight arms while sitting flat on the seat.
Adjust the length of the cable to get the bar in the correct position. Second, sit back on the seat and adjust the thigh pad. You want it to lock your legs to the seat. Once you have those done, you're ready to get started!
Here is how to do lat pulldowns with proper form:
The pulldown is a simple exercise, but keep in mind these form tips while doing it:
Bent-over rows are a variation of the traditional standing barbell row exercise. It has the double benefit of working both the lats and the biceps. If your goal is to build more pulling power, then consider this exercise your new best friend.
You can do bent-over rows with either a barbell or dumbbells. For this example, we will stick with the barbell.
Here is how to do bent-over rows with proper form:
Want to grow the best biceps ever?
If so, then bicep curls are for you. They're one of the best if not the best exercise for building better biceps. Not only do bicep curls work the biceps, but they also target the brachialis and brachioradialis.
The brachialis and brachioradialis are two muscles in the forearm. There are few exercises other than bicep curls that fire them up.
Here is how to do bicep curls with proper form:
The most important bicep curl form tip is to keep your elbows locked at your sides the entire time! Popping your elbows out will take some of the work off of your biceps and put it on another muscle that it shouldn't be on.
Pull-ups are one of the best and most popular bodyweight exercises. And, this is for many good reasons.
Pull-ups work the several major muscles, including the:
Do not confuse pull-ups with chin-ups. Chin-ups use an underhand grip and put more of an emphasis on the biceps. We are not saying not to do chin-ups, but pull-ups are more challenging and work larger muscles than chin-ups do!
Here is how to do pull-ups with proper form:
The dumbbell pullover is a unique pull exercise because it is only one of a few pull exercises that target the chest muscles. Specifically, they target the pecs.Another great thing about the pullover is that it is a perfect exercise for improving posture.
It pulls the arms overhead to stretch the spine. With a longer and more stretched-out spine, you naturally stand up taller. And, even better, having good posture helps prevent potentially debilitating back injuries.
Here is how to do the dumbbell pullover with proper form:
The dumbbell pullover is, for the most part, a simple exercise. However, be sure to keep your lower back pressed into the flat bench as you lift your arms overhead. Do not arch your back, as this could cause serious back injuries.
Single-arm dumbbell rows are one of the best exercises for working your entire back.
That includes the:
Here is how to do the single-arm dumbbell row with proper form:
If you are getting tired of the run-of-the-mill exercises, then try the kettlebell renegade row. It is a hybrid of a plank and row.Because it is a combination of two exercises, it works two distinct muscle groups.
The plank targets the abs, core, and lower body, while the row works the back and shoulders. Moreover, it is a perfect exercise for a full-body workout!
If you are trying to shake things up a bit, here is how to do the kettlebell renegade row:
Make sure to keep your back in a straight line as you lift the kettlebell! Your upper body may slightly twist, but it shouldn't open up or drop.
Like the dumbbell pullover, barbell shrugs are a unique pull exercise because they target the shoulders. And, as you already know, the shoulders tend to be a push muscle rather than a pull muscle.
Barbell shrugs are a tiny movement that can make a big impact on your upper back and stabilizer muscles. While they look simple, they require a lot of core stabilization. Therefore, you get the double benefit of building broad shoulders and a solid core.
Here is how to do barbell shrugs with proper form:
Finish your pull workout off with cable face pulls! Another classic cable exercise, face pulls are a solid substitute for push exercises that target the upper body. For example, the cable face pull works almost all of the same muscles as the bench press.
Therefore, if you want a broader chest and shoulders, add the cable face pull to your workout routine!Before getting started, you need to set up your cable machine.
Hook up the double-ended rope attachment to the cable. Then, set the height of the pulley to the highest spot on the cable machine.If you are doing a home workout and don't have a machine, you can get creative with a resistance band!
Here is how to do cable face pulls with proper form:
Whether you want to follow the push/pull workout method or not, you should balance these top pull exercises with push exercises. If you only do pull exercises, then you will leave your push muscle group behind.
Moreover, you would neglect your triceps, shoulders, and chest muscles. Here are some of our favorite push exercises that you should balance with your pull day exercises:
Also, be sure to balance out your pulling exercises by hitting leg day! Lunges, squats, and leg raises work the primary leg muscles, including the quads, glutes, and hamstrings.
Whether you want to try the push/pull training method or simply want to build more muscle and strength, give these pull exercises a try!
Each one of them is designed to initiate hypertrophy in each of your pulling muscles. Start building stronger, broader muscles today with our top ten pull exercises!
Bonus tip: Want to add more dimension to your lifting sessions? Follow our guide to the best full-body workout!