Welcome to our complete guide to the best pull day exercises for an effective gym workout. Pull day exercises target the back, biceps, and posterior chain muscles and help improve strength, posture, and overall fitness. In this article 30 Best Daily Exercises for an Effective Gym Workout, we'll explore a variety of exercises to help you build a stronger back and sculpted upper body.
Push-ups are a high-impact compound exercise that engage multiple muscle groups, including your lats, rhomboids, biceps, and posterior delts. Start by holding the pull-up bar with your palms facing outward and shoulder-width apart. Pull your body up until your chin clears the bar, then slowly lower your body.
The bent-over row is a basic exercise for strengthening your back. To perform this exercise, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and grab a barbell with an overhand grip. Lean forward at the hips, keeping your back straight, then pull the dumbbell toward your chest while squeezing your shoulder blades together. Lower the weight in a controlled manner.
Lateral pulley exercises are an excellent exercise to specifically train the latissimus dorsi, also known as the latissimus dorsi. Sit on a cable machine and grab the bar with hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Pull the bar toward your chest, keeping your back straight and elbows pointing down. Slowly drop the weight back to the starting position.
T-bar rows are another effective back-strengthening exercise. Start by mounting the T-bar machine and holding the handles. Keeping your back straight, lean forward at your hips and pull the straps toward your chest while squeezing your shoulder blades together. Lower the weight in a controlled manner.
Seated Cable Row:
Seated cable rows target the upper back muscles and biceps. Sit on a cable rower and rest your feet on the footrests. With arms fully extended, grasp the handles and pull them toward your stomach, keeping your back straight. Slowly drop the weight back to the starting position.
The dumbbell row is a unilateral exercise that helps develop a strong, balanced back. First, place your left knee and left hand on a bench and keep your back parallel to the floor. Hold a dumbbell in your right hand and lift the weight toward your hips with your elbow close to your body. Lower it again and repeat the process on the other side.
Photo by Airam Dato-on: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-lifting-weights-in-a-gym-13106582/
Hammer Power Rowing Machine:
Hammer Strength Machine rows are a great alternative to traditional barbell rows. Sit on the Hammer Strength machine, place your chest against the pad and grasp the handles with an overhand grip. Pull the handles toward your torso while contracting your back muscles, then slowly release them back to the starting position.
Pull-ups are similar to chin-ups, but have a supine grip with your palms facing you. This grip variation targets the biceps and upper back muscles. Hang from a pull-up bar with your palms shoulder-width apart and facing you. Pull your body up until your chin clears the bar, then lower yourself down in a controlled manner.
Reverse rows, also known as body rows, are a great exercise to do with a suspension trainer or Smith machine. Set up the suspension trainer or adjust the smith machine barbell to a height where you can hang with your body straight and your heels on the floor. Grasp the handles or bar with your palms facing you and pull your chest into the handles or bar. Descend while maintaining control.
Single arm cable line:
One-arm rows are ideal for working each side of your back individually and helping to correct muscle imbalances. Imagine a cable machine with just a handle attached. Grasp the handle with one hand, step back and extend your arm forward. Pull the handle toward your torso while contracting your back muscles, then slowly release it back to the starting position. Repeat with the other arm.
Pulldown Lat Grip Lat:
The wide pulls accentuate the outside of the latissimus dorsi and create a wider back appearance. Sit on a pull-down machine and grip the barbell with your hands wider than shoulder-width apart. Pull the bar toward your chest, focusing on activating your back muscles. Control the weight as you slowly release it.
Cable's facial features target the rear deltoids, upper back, and rotator cuff muscles to help improve posture and shoulder stability. Attach a rope handle to a cable machine at chest height. Hold the rope with both hands, palms facing each other. Pull the rope towards your face as you focus on squeezing your shoulder blades together. Control the movement as you extend your arms back to the starting position.
While often associated with leg day, the Romanian deadlift also involves the back muscles, particularly the lower back. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a dumbbell in front of your thighs. Bend your hips forward, keeping your back straight, and lower the dumbbell toward the floor while bending your knees slightly. Return to the starting position by moving your hips forward.
Photo by Victor Freitas: https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-holding-black-and-silver-steel-barbell-photography-949126/
Barbell shrugs primarily target the upper trapezius muscles and help build a strong and defined upper back. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and hold a barbell in front of your thighs with an overhand grip. Raise your shoulders towards your ears as high as possible while focusing on contracting your muscles. Lower the dumbbell in a controlled manner.
Fly back com barra:
Curved bar backflies specifically target the rear delts and upper back muscles. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and grab a barbell with an overhand grip. Lean forward at the hips, keeping your back straight and knees slightly bent. Raise the dumbbell to the side while slightly bending your elbows. Squeeze your shoulder blades together at the top of the movement, then lower the dumbbell in a controlled manner.
Dumbbell pullovers engage multiple muscle groups, including your lats, chest, and triceps. Lie down on a bench with only your upper back and head supported. Hold a dumbbell in both hands and stretch your arms across your chest. Slowly lower the dumbbell over your head while slightly bending your elbows. Return the dumbbell to the starting position by tensing your back muscles.
Wide Grip Pulldowns:
Wide-grip pushups are similar to pull-down exercises, but with a wider grip and more targeting of the outer lats. Sit on a pull-down machine and grip the barbell with your hands wider than shoulder-width apart. Pull the bar down toward your upper chest, focusing on activating your back muscles. Control the weight as you slowly release it.
rows of meadows:
Meadows Rows, named after the well-known bodybuilder John Meadows, is an effective exercise for developing a strong and broad back. Place one end of a bar in a corner of a room or connect it to a land mine. Stand with feet staggered, one foot in front of the other, and hold the other end of the dumbbell with an overhand grip. Row the bar toward your chest, keeping your back straight and elbows close to your body. Lower the dumbbell and repeat the process on the other side.
Closed grip pull ups:
Close-grip pull-ups work the biceps and inner back muscles. Grab the pull-up bar with your palms facing you, but with your hands closer together than you would for a regular pull-up. Pull your body toward the bar, focusing on contracting your back and biceps. Lower yourself in a controlled manner.
Straight Arm Cable Puller:
Cable pulley straight arm pulldowns target your upper back muscles and help improve posture. Stand in front of a cable machine and hold the handle with both hands. Start with your arms fully extended in front of you and pull the strap towards your thighs, keeping your arms straight. Control the weight as you return to the starting position.
Swiss ball hyperextensions:
Swiss ball hyperextensions are a great exercise to work your lower back muscles. Lie face down on a Swiss ball and plant your feet firmly on the floor. Place your hands behind your head or across your chest. Squeeze your core and lift your torso off the ball while straightening your back until your body is in a straight line. Lower yourself in a controlled manner and repeat the process.
Photo by Cottonbro Studio: https://www.pexels.com/photo/man-in-black-activewear-using-a-rowing-machine-7690200/
Lying T-bar row:
The lying T-bar is a variation of the T-bar exercise that engages the lower back muscles more. Set up a T-bar rower so the end of the bar is secured so you can pivot. Lie face down on a bench and rest your chest against the angled part of the machine. Grab the handles and row the bar toward your torso while contracting your back muscles. Lower the weight back down and repeat the process.
Wide-Grip Curved Row:
Wide-grip tuck-up rows put more emphasis on the outer back muscles and help create width and thickness. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and grab a barbell with an overhand grip wider than shoulder-width apart. Keeping your back straight and your knees slightly bent, tilt your hips forward. Pull the dumbbell towards your lower chest while contracting your back muscles. Lower the weight in a controlled manner.
Assisted pushups are beneficial for people who are still developing upper body strength. Use an assisted pull-up machine or resistance bands to help you perform pull-ups. First, place your knees or feet on the pad or step on the resistance band so that it can support some of your body weight. Perform the pull-up motion, focusing on using your back and biceps. Gradually lower support as it gets stronger.
One Arm Dumbbell Row:
One-arm dumbbell rows isolate each side of your back, promoting balance and stability. Place one knee and one hand on a bench on the same side, keeping your back parallel to the floor. Hold a dumbbell in your other hand and drop it. Pull the dumbbell toward your hips, keeping your elbow close to your body. Lower it again and repeat the process on the other side.
Renegade rows not only work your back muscles, but also engage your core and improve stability. Start in a push-up position with a dumbbell in each hand. Keeping your body in a straight line, row a dumbbell toward your torso while contracting your back muscles. Lower it again and repeat the process with the other arm. Focus on maintaining core stability throughout the exercise.
Reverse Grip Cable Lines:
Reverse grip cable rows target your lower lats and biceps and provide a unique boost to your back muscles. Install a cable machine with a straight bar attachment. Grab the bar with the grip underneath, palms up. Sit up straight, fully extend your arms and pull the bar down to your stomach while contracting your back muscles. Control the weight as you return it to the starting position.
Kettlebell swings are a dynamic exercise that targets your entire posterior chain, including your back, glutes, and hamstrings. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a kettlebell between your legs with both hands. Place the kettlebell on your hips, rotate it forward and lift it to shoulder height, maintaining a strong core and a neutral spine. Swing the kettlebell between your legs and repeat the movement.
One arm lateral pull:
One-arm pulldowns are an effective exercise for isolating each side of your back individually. Sit on a cable machine and hold the handle with one hand. With your arm fully extended, pull the strap down toward your shoulder, keeping your back straight. Slowly release the weight and repeat on the other side.
Smith machine series:
Smith machine rows provide a controlled movement that stably engages the back muscles. Set the barbell on a Smith machine to a suitable height. Face the bar and grab it with an overhand grip, hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Lean back slightly, keeping your back straight, and pull the barbell toward your lower chest. Tighten your back muscles and slowly lower the bar back to the starting position.
Photo by Ruslan Khmelevsky: https://www.pexels.com/photo/faceless-sportswoman-performing-arms-exercise-on-machine-in-gym-4608155/
In short, incorporating a variety of pull day exercises into your gym is vital to developing a strong, balanced and well-defined back. The exercises mentioned in this comprehensive guide target different muscle groups in the back, including the lats, rhomboids, trapezius and lower back. By incorporating exercises like pull-ups, bent-over rows, side pulldowns, and many others, you can effectively engage and strengthen these muscles.
Prioritizing proper form, gradually increasing weight or resistance, and listening to your body's cues are all important to avoiding injury and maximizing results. Varying your workouts not only helps you avoid plateaus, but also ensures you target different angles and muscle fibers, promoting balanced development.
Remember that consistency and dedication are key to any fitness journey. Combine these exercises with a balanced diet, adequate rest, and a comprehensive exercise program for best results. Building a strong back not only strengthens your body, it also contributes to improved posture, functional strength, and overall fitness.
Whether you're looking to improve your athletic performance, achieve aesthetic goals, or simply improve your overall strength and well-being, incorporating these daily top-pull workouts will help you achieve the results you want. Challenge yourself, stay committed, and enjoy the transformative journey to a stronger, more defined back.
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How many exercises is best for a pull day? For an effective pull day, Bryant usually includes 5 to 8 exercises. This is how many movements it takes to get a good amount of work in both the upper and lower body, she says.How many exercises should I do on pull day? ›
How many exercises is best for a pull day? For an effective pull day, Bryant usually includes 5 to 8 exercises. This is how many movements it takes to get a good amount of work in both the upper and lower body, she says.How many pull exercises per workout? ›
To keep workouts from getting too long, or too overly fatiguing, you could do 1-2 exercises per major muscle group (quads, hamstrings, chest, back, shoulders) per workout (2-10 different exercises per muscle group per program).Should I do core on pull day? ›
Because abs are used in both pushing and pulling actions, they can be trained several times per week – just choose different exercises for each session. You could also try splitting your midsection routine into abdominal and core workouts, training abs on pull day and doing core strengthening on push day.How many biceps exercises on pull day? ›
Rusin recommends anywhere from four to six exercises total for back and biceps in a given workout, using roughly a two-to-one ratio of back to biceps exercises. At the high end, this would mean four back exercises and two isolated biceps movements in a session.Is 10 exercises per workout too much? ›
Are 10 exercises per workout too much? Doing ten exercises per workout will make the session last a long time, potentially hurting your focus, energy, and performance.How long should a pull workout last? ›
If you're strength training only one day per week, aim for a 60- to 90-minute session; those who train two or three days a week should try for 45- to 60-minute sessions; and 20- to 60-minute sessions for people who train four or five days a week. In general, expect your strength workouts to span 20 to 90 minutes.Should I do shoulders on pull day? ›
Shoulders During Pull Day
Exercises you should definitely consider within your pull day include: Lateral Raises (Dumbbell) Front Raises (Dumbbell) Rear Deltoid Fly (Stack & Pin Machine or Dumbbell)
While pull-ups can be a great exercise for building upper body strength, it is generally not recommended to do pull-ups every day. This is because your muscles need time to rest and recover after a workout in order to repair and grow stronger.What is the most effective gym split? ›
The push/pull/legs split is probably the most efficient workout split there is because all related muscle groups are trained together in the same workout. This means that you get the maximum overlap of movements within the same workout, and the muscle groups being trained get an overall benefit from this overlap.
- Barbell Deadlift. 4 warmup sets, culminating in a set of 5 reps at 80 percent of your 1RM.
- Chest-Supported Row. 3 sets of 8 to 10 reps. ...
- Dumbbell Pullover. ...
- Dumbbell High Pull. ...
- Biceps Chin Curl and Overhead Triceps Extension (Superset) ...
- Angels and Devils. ...
- Snatch Grip Deadlift. ...
- Weighted Pullup.
- Dumbbell bent-over row. Stand with your feet hip- to shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand. ...
- Pull-up. ...
- Renegade row. ...
- Dumbbell biceps curl. ...
- Upright dumbbell row. ...
- Zottman curl.
The best pull-up grip for biceps is the supinated (underhand) grip, also known as the chin-up. The biceps are mainly recruited with the hand in the supinated position, contributing heavily to the chin-up.Should I do more reps or more weight for bigger arms? ›
So, in general, low reps with heavy weight tends to increase muscle mass, while high reps with light weight increases muscle endurance. This doesn't mean that you have to rely on one method exclusively. Alternating between the two may be the best approach for long-term success.How many times a week should I do pull? ›
Practice pull ups 2-3 times a week if you can. Perform 5 sets to near failure each time. Do this and you will see your reps increase quickly. Be sure to give yourself enough rest time between days so that your muscles can recover.How many bicep exercises should I do? ›
When designing a routine, choose three to four different biceps exercises, doing each for three sets of 12 reps. You can also do them as part of a circuit, performing one bicep exercise after the next with no rest. You will generally need to go lighter for this, but will definitely feel the burn.How long should a workout be? ›
Try starting with short workouts that are 30 minutes or less. As you feel your strength building, add a couple more minutes every week. The American Heart Association recommends 75-150 minutes of aerobic activity, as well as two strength-training sessions, per week.How many exercises should I do at gym? ›
The ideal number of exercises per workout session is 3-4 exercises. If you select your exercises appropriately and train them with sufficient volume and intensity, this will be more than enough to make great progress. This means: Focusing on an 80/20 split of compound to isolation exercises.How many reps should I do in the gym? ›
If your objective is strength or power (think: heavy lifting), the textbook advice is to perform 3 to 5 sets of 2 to 6 reps per exercise. For hypertrophy (building muscle), the sweet spot is 3 to 4 sets of 6 to 12 reps. And if your objective is muscular endurance, shoot for 2 to 3 sets of 12 to 20 reps.What to eat for muscle growth? ›
- Lean meat. Animal products are usually a great source of protein, especially lean meats like chicken and turkey . ...
- Eggs. ...
- Dairy products.
- Fish. ...
- Whole grains. ...
- Beans and lentils. ...
- Whey protein.
"A good starting point for most people is to aim for three to five hours of workouts per week to see results within roughly two to three months," says Leach.How long should you workout everyday to gain muscle? ›
Spending your whole day in the gym isn't necessary to build muscle. Weight training for 20 to 30 minutes, 2 to 3 times a week is enough to see results. You should try to target all your major muscle groups at least twice throughout your weekly workouts.How do you split pull days? ›
- Monday: Push A.
- Tuesday: Pull A.
- Wednesday: OFF.
- Thursday: Push B.
- Friday: Pull B.
- Saturday: OFF.
- Sunday: OFF.
The primary joints involved in pullups are the shoulder and elbow joints. Any repetitive movement can lead to overuse injury. Performing pullups every day would, in most circumstances, lead to an overuse injury.How can I increase my pull-up strength fast? ›
- Inverted Row: 4 sets of 8-12 reps.
- Negative Pull-Ups: 5 sets of 5 reps (progress to 5 second descents each rep)
- Long Lever Rocking Plank: 3 sets (aim to hold for 60-120 seconds)
- Scapular Pull-Ups: 3 sets of 8-15 reps (2 second holds at top position)
The push-pull training regimen allows your muscles the recommended 48–72 hours of rest to fully recover before training again ( 3 ).How many exercises should I do at the gym? ›
3-4 exercises per workout is enough to accomplish your fitness goals. If you program your workout correctly, more than 4 exercises per day can become counterproductive. You only need to focus on 6 major movement patterns when selecting your exercises.How many pull-ups is good for 50 year old? ›
20 to 29 year-olds: 17 to 29 push-ups. 30 to 39 year-olds: 13 to 24 push-ups. 40 to 49 year-olds: 11 to 20 push-ups. 50 to 59 year-olds: 9 to 17 push-ups.Can you get a six pack from pull-ups? ›
No, pull-ups are not an ab-isolation exercise. When you are performing these, your whole body is working, beginning with the hands and ending with your calves. Nevertheless, it is recommended that during pull-ups you try isolating your core.