Pull Ups

Add this Popular Body Weight Exercise to your Weight Training Programs and next Back Workout

Welcome to our Pull Ups Exercise Instruction Guide!

On this page you'll learn how to do this lat and upper back exercise using the correct technique. Below you'll find pictures, exercise instructions, and tips on how to get the most out of this and other Back Exercises so you can immediately add to your Weight Training Programs and next Back Workout.

Have you seen our Best Back Exercises list yet? See if this body weight exercise made the list!

Exercise Summary

Exercise Name:Pull Ups
Main Muscle:Upper Back
Secondary Muscle(s):Lats, Biceps
Exercise Type:Compound, Pull
Equipment Required:Body Weight

Exercise Description and Instruction:

Pull-Ups are one of the most popular and most beneficial body weight exercises. Unfortunately, they are a great test of strength that most people fail.

If you're unable to complete a set of Pullups, build your strength with Chin Ups, Lat Pull Down, or Narrow Parallel Grip Chin Ups which are slightly easier, but also great exercises for these muscle groups.

To Perform This Exercise:

  1. Grab the bar with an overhand grip slightly wider than shoulder width apart and allow your torso to hang straight down. This is your starting position.

  2. Begin the exercise by pulling your torso up by contracting your arms and drawing your shoulders and the upper arms down and back. You should continue to pull upwards until the bar touches your upper chest.

  3. Pause for a moment, then inhale and return starting position by extending your arms and lowering your torso.

  4. Repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions.


  1. Concentrate on squeezing the back muscles at the top of the lift.

  2. Keep your back straight throughout this exercise

  3. Perform each repetition in a slow and controlled manner using only your arms and back.

Other Weight Training Exercises and Related Sections

Now that you've seen Pullups, which primarily targets your lats, check out all of our different Lat Exercises.

Or, view our Back Exercises Main Page, which links directly to our Lat Exercises as well as our Lower Back Exercises, and Upper Back Exercises.

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