16 Benefits Of Pull-Ups And Why You Need To Do Them

Benefits Of Pull Ups

What’s up fitness fans?

In today’s article, we’re going to be looking at several scintillating benefits of pull-ups.

When people are looking to build muscle, increase their strength, and get in shape, they often tend to focus on gyms, gym equipment, and free weights.

Don’t get us wrong, these are all incredibly effective, but they are by no means the be-all and end-all of working out.

Sometimes the simplest exercises are the best, and by that, we mean that sometimes the exercises requiring nothing but your own body weight can be the most effective.

The back is one of the largest muscle groups in the body, yet it also happens to be one of the most neglected, simply due to the fact that a lot of people can’t see their backs very well, so they tend not to focus on them as much.

If you train your back right, however, you’ll find that you can pack heaps of mass on, build definition, increase your strength, and a whole lot more besides.

The problem is that not all back exercises target the major muscle groups.

The History Of Pull-Ups:

Before we look at how fantastic pull-ups can really be, let us first take a trip back in time to learn about the history of pull-ups.

Early Origins:

The pull-up is one of the most effective back exercises one could ever wish to perform, but where did it originate?

Well, you probably won’t be shocked to learn that the Ancient Romans are believed to have performed a very primitive version of this exercise.

Roman soldiers were firm believers in calisthenics and bodyweight exercises to help prepare them for battle, and pull-ups were believed to be a part of their routine.

In Ancient Egypt, variants of this exercise were performed, in the form of inverted rows.

Gymnastic Influences:

Despite pull-ups or chin-ups being popular many centuries ago, it wasn’t until the 1770s, in Prussia, that the exercise we know as the pull-up proved to be especially popular.

Thanks to the popularity of gymnastics at this time pull-ups were included in many more workout routines, not only by gymnasts but by the general public looking to imitate the movements of famous gymnasts.

The popularity of this exercise spread across Europe, and considering all it required was a sturdy bar, or structure to pull oneself upon, it was an exercise that was readily available to virtually everybody.

Pull-ups In Modern Times:

By the late 19th and early 20th centuries, physical culture was a real thing and it saw people take pride in their appearance and their overall levels of fitness.

As the decades ticked by, famous fitness icons such as Eugen Sandow helped to elevate the pull-up into the mainstream.

Bodybuilders soon noticed how the exercise worked wonders on the back, helping with adding mass, improving grip strength, and improving definition too.

By the 1960s and 70s, the pull-up was a household exercise and was a staple in virtually every bodybuilder’s back routine.

Today, this is truer than ever.

What Are The Benefits Of Pull-Ups Exercise?

Benefits Of Pull Ups

Thankfully pull-ups do, which is what we’re looking at in today’s article.

Here’s a look at several benefits:

Benefit #1: Pull-Ups Are Great For Your Grip

When training, grip strength is vastly, vastly underrated as it can help you in a whole variety of different ways.

Grip strength can help you lift heavier weights, it can help you get a firmer grip on the bar, and it can potentially help you to avoid injury as well.

Pull-ups are great for grip strength because you’re forced to grip the bar and pull your own body weight up into the air.

If you lose your grip, you fall, it’s that simple.

If you want to increase your grip strength, pull-ups are perfect.

Benefit #2: Pull-ups Will Assist With Other Exercises

Another awesome benefit is the fact that, as mentioned previously, they can assist you with other exercises.

For example, deadlifts require a lot of grip strength, and as you know, pull-ups assist with grip strength so exercises like deadlifts, or shrugs, which require good grip, will improve noticeably.

Benefit #3: Pull-ups Assist With Other Sports

It isn’t just gym exercises that will benefit from pull-ups, as it turns out that so too will other sporting activities.

Say, for example, you take part in rock climbing, your sport of choice will benefit massively from pull-ups because the action of the exercise perfectly mimics the action of rock climbing.

Any sport or activity requiring grip strength and the ability to handle your own bodyweight will benefit hugely from pull-ups alongside other exercises like the dips and mountain climbers, which is why so many athletes, rock climbers, and thrill-seekers in general, tend to do so many pull-ups.

Benefit #4: Pull-ups Build Muscle Mass In The Back

Benefits Of Pull-Ups

If you want to build a big, powerful, defined back, pull-ups are the perfect exercise to do precisely that.

Another of the awesome benefits is the fact that they’re such an effective back exercise.

Pull-ups work the upper, middle, and lower lats, along with your rhomboids, and other muscles too, which we’ll look at in more detail shortly.

If you want a powerful and muscular back, a lot of pro bodybuilders recommend pull-ups as the number one back exercise, and they could very well be right.

Benefit #5: Pull-ups Build An Awesome V Taper

When talking about the benefits, another benefit that cannot be overlooked is the fact that pull-ups are ideal for people looking to build an awesome V taper.

A V taper is basically where you build up the size of your lats on either side of your body so that they expand outwards and create a V shape.

A V taper is very aesthetic and can also work wonders in reducing the appearance of your waist as well, creating an illusion of your waist being smaller because your back is so large.

Benefit #6: Pull-ups Are A Great Compound Exercise

A compound exercise is one that works for more than one major muscle group at once and pull-ups certainly achieve that.

Compound exercises are great for building muscle because by working for multiple muscle groups at once you’re basically training more than one muscle with one exercise.

How To Increase Your Pull-Ups From 0 to 10+ Reps FAST (3 Science-Based Tips)

Compound exercises burn more calories, build more muscle, increase your strength, and they’re considered more functional as well.

Benefit #7: Pull-ups Are A Functional Exercise

Speaking of functional benefits, another of the many pull-up benefits is the fact that they’re considered to be such a functional exercise.

A functional exercise is one that will provide benefits outside of the gym in the outside world, rather than simply helping you to just lift heavyweights in the gym.

Pull-ups are very functional because they require you to lift your own body weight, which is not only useful for things such as climbing on roofs or getting out of pools for example, but it could potentially save a life.

Benefit #8: Pull-ups Burn Fat

When people talk about the benefits, they often focus solely on the muscle mass-building benefits, when in reality the exercise itself is also ideal for people looking to burn fat and lose weight.

You see, pull-ups utilize multiple muscles at once, meaning that the body is forced to work harder to complete the exercise.

The more muscles you use, the harder the exercise, and the more calories you will burn.

For people looking to burn fat and get leaner, pull-ups are perfect.

Benefit #9: Pull-Ups Can Be Done In Different Ways

Another of the many benefits that we need to talk about today is the fact that there are so many different pull-up variations that can be performed.

To begin with, you can do regular pull-ups, you can go with a wider grip to target the outer lats, or you can go with a narrower grip to target the inner lats.


You can do overhand or underhand, and in fact, if you go with an underhand grip, you can also target the biceps so you can work the biceps as well as the back.

Benefit #10: Pull-ups Are Great For Pull Days

Benefits Of Pull-Ups

If you follow a PPL workout, push/pull/legs split, and pull-ups are ideal.

Pull-ups are the perfect exercise to perform on pull days because not only are they incredibly effective back exercises, but they also happen to work the biceps.

As you probably know, pull days are mainly back and bicep exercises, so with pull-ups you can kill two birds with one stone and get an amazing workout, in the process.

Pull-ups will not only yield amazing results on pull day, but they’ll also help to save time because with one exercise you can hit your back and your biceps.

Benefit #11: Pull-ups Don’t Require A Gym

Another great thing about pull-ups is the fact that they do not require access to a gym to perform them.

If you wanted to do a bench press, for example, you’d need a gym, or a barbell, a bench, and weights.

With pull-ups, though, all you need is a sturdy pull-up bar, or something similar, but secure, that you can hang from and pull yourself up with.

You can purchase pull-up bars for use at home, though they must be fitted securely and you must ensure that they can hold your weight, otherwise you run the risk of injury.

Alternatively, if you can find a sturdy tree, why not go ahead and bust out a series of pull-ups outdoors, that way you can exercise and get some fresh air in the process.

Benefit #12: Pull-ups Allow You To Test Yourself

Pull-ups are not easy for most people, which is why they’re so great for people that are looking to really test themselves and push themselves to their absolute limits.

Pull-ups are difficult, and by performing them you can gauge just how strong your grip strength is, and just how strong you are, by performing as many reps as possible.

After you’ve finished, make a note of how many reps you performed, and the next time you do them, aim to do more reps or at least complete the same amount in less time.

When you do pull-ups, once you hit “the wall” you’ll find that every single rep afterward will feel like a huge struggle, but if you test yourself and persevere, you’ll be glad you pushed through.

Benefit #13: Pull-ups Can Be Made Harder

For most people, pull-ups are very tough but after a while, the more you do, you’ll find that they become easier.

Not only that but if you’re lighter in weight and fairly strong, the exercise may even feel a little too easy.

If that’s the case, then worry not, because there are things you can do to make the exercise much tougher.

if you want to make pull-ups tougher, you could change your grip, or attach a dipping belt with chains to yourself and clip on some weight plates to add extra weight and resistance to the exercise.

If you thought 10 regular pull-ups were easy, try doing 10 pull-ups with 2 x 45-pound plates attached to yourself, and then see how you get on.

This scalability is a great way of really pushing yourself and keeping exercise testing.

Benefit #14: Pull-ups Can Improve Your Posture

Another awesome benefit that can’t be overlooked is the fact that pull-ups can also improve your posture.

Thanks to the fact that so many people spend hours a day looking down at a computer, hunched over at their desk, or looking down at their phones for hours at a time each day, more people than ever before are suffering from poor posture, as well as neck and back issues that go with it.

Pull-ups help to strengthen your back and can help to improve your posture, allowing you to stand up straight and experience less pain and discomfort in and around the back and neck area.

Benefit #15: Pull-ups Help Build An Aesthetic Physique

Benefits Of Pull-Ups

We’ve already spoken about how pull-ups can help to build an incredible V taper, but what about the physique in general?

Well, if you’re eating right, training hard, and are doing plenty of pull-ups as part of your training, you’ll find that your physique will respond incredibly well as a result.

Pull-ups build muscle, they burn fat, they help to build symmetry, and they also increase your strength so that you’ll find it easier to lift heavier weights and you’ll train harder and get more from your workouts as a result.

Benefit #16: Pull-ups Strengthen Your Core

Pull-ups are primarily an exercise designed to target the back, but that doesn’t mean that it’s only the back that they target.

We also know that pull-ups work on your biceps, but many of you will not be aware of the fact that pull-ups also strengthen your core as well.

To help perform the exercise and keep your body stable, your core is engaged and your core stabilizer muscles will tense up and tighten in order to keep you sturdy and secure.

By the time you finish your set of pull-ups, you’ll find that your abs are screaming and v line your core will feel tighter than ever.

How To Do Pull-ups Properly?

In this next section, we’re going to take a look at how you can do pull-ups correctly. On paper, pull-ups are very easy to perform.

In reality, however, things are very different.

The Official Pull-Up Checklist (AVOID MISTAKES!)

Here’s a look at how to do pull-ups properly.

  • Begin by standing underneath a pull-up bar, placing both hands with an overhanded grip on the bar, a couple of inches wider than shoulder-width.
  • Next, once you’re gripping the bar securely, take a deep breath, brace your core, and then lift both feet up off the floor so that you are now hanging from the pull-up bar.
  • Now, slowly engage muscles in your back and shoulders, bend both elbows, and then firmly pull yourself up into the air towards the bar, until the bar is roughly level with your chin.
  • Hold for a second or two, and focus on really squeezing the muscles in your back, making sure to avoid swinging or rocking for momentum. Remember, this is a pull-up, not a muscle-up.
  • Now, slowly lower yourself down to the starting position and repeat for as many reps as necessary.
  • Enjoy your back pump!

Bottom Line:

So, as you can see, there are plenty of benefits of pull-ups to be enjoyed, so what are you waiting for?

Please do not think that, just because they’re a calisthenics exercise, pull-ups aren’t as effective as free weight exercises because many would argue that they’re even more so, which is why so many athletes, bodybuilders, strongmen, and powerlifters perform them on a regular basis.

FAQs About Pull-Ups:

What Muscles Do Pull-Ups Work?

Pull-ups are a great way to build muscle mass. as you engage back muscle, deltoid, biceps, triceps, shoulder, and abs, If you have never done pull-ups before, they can seem like a daunting task at first. But once you get used to them, you'll wonder how you ever lived without them.

What If I Can Only Perform One Pull-up?

The answer to this question lies in your genetics. If you are genetically gifted at pull-ups, then you can do them without any problem. However, if you have never been able to perform even one pull-up, then that means you need to work on improving your core strength. This is where the importance of weight training comes into play.

What Happens If I Do 200 Pull-Ups A Day?

When you exercise your muscles, they are forced to work harder than usual. This causes them to adapt and become stronger. When you stop exercising, the muscle fibers begin to atrophy (shrink). However, this doesn't mean that you have to keep doing pull-ups forever. If you stop exercising, the muscles will eventually return to their original size.


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