What muscle groups can be pumped using different pull-ups?

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What muscles will work with different techniques for performing this exercise? Useful tips and tricks.
Pulling is an invariable element of most modern complexes. Its advantages are accessibility, the absence of strict requirements for the projectile, the connection of a large number of muscle groups to work. Let’s figure out which muscles work when pulling up, and how to properly perform the exercise.

Muscle in action

Practice and research have shown that pulling up connects a whole group of muscle fibers to the work, developing and strengthening them. The main ones include:

  1. The broadest muscles. This group is most actively involved while working on the horizontal bar. Her area of ​​responsibility is the rotation of the upper limbs to the center of the torso, the movement of the arms behind the back, and the central part of the body. If you heard the phrase “pump your wings”, then we are talking about this particular muscle group.
  2. Trapeze is another group that is actively involved in the period of pull-ups. These muscles run downward, from the base of the skull to the middle of the back, and also from the spines of the chest to the shoulders. At the same time, the main function of the muscle group is the support of the arms and the movement of the shoulder blades.
  3. Extensors and flexors of the forearm. This muscle group includes many muscles, namely the brachioradialis, flexors (extensors) of the fingers, pronators, and so on. All these and a number of other muscles contribute to the reliable fixation of the hands-on the crossbar.
  4. Biceps The biceps muscle does not directly participate in the exercise, but a number of indirect functions still fall on it. The main task of the group is to help bend the arms in the elbow joints, as well as the torsion of the forearms. The biceps muscles get the greatest load when setting the hands with a reverse grip.
  5. The muscles of the middle area of ​​the body. This group includes the abdominal press, oblique and transverse muscles. Thanks to these muscles, the stability of pull-ups is ensured, a clear posture is maintained in all positions. In addition, powerful middle muscles form a general physical form.
  6. Deltas are the muscle group that is responsible for the contour of the shoulders. This muscle is formed from several bundles – posterior, middle, and anterior. It is worth noting that training on the horizontal bar does not allow you to fully work out the deltoid muscles, but to strengthen them is complete.
wide grip

Right breathing

To ensure that all the muscles mentioned above are properly worked out, several additional conditions must be observed. The main ones are proper breathing and a clear execution technique. Even an insignificant error can nullify the entire efficiency of work, as well as lead to injury.

Often, beginners, performing the exercise with a narrow or wide grip, make a big mistake – they lift their heads a little back, raising their chin up. In this case, the rise of the body itself occurs at the moment of the air intake, which is a big mistake. At the same time, the shoulders are reduced, which is also wrong. With this approach, you can achieve several problems – spinal injuries, protrusion of a hernia, sprain, and so on.

A clear technique involves a completely different approach to exercise. It doesn’t matter if the pull is performed with a narrow or wide grip. Before lifting, draw air into your lungs and hold your breath. In this case, the body will be much easier to push up, and the task for the latissimus muscles is also greatly facilitated.

Remember that pulling up is primarily aimed at working out the muscles of the back, so the body should be kept level, without any “twitching”. If you are pulled by a wide grip when the amplitude is minimal, then do not forget about installing additional weighting materials.

Execution technique

Now we will consider how to carry out the exercise correctly, and what types of grip are.

So, all pull-ups can be performed:

  • medium, narrow or wide grip (taking into account the distance between the hands);
  • direct, neutral, or reverse grip (from the position of the hands).

As for the execution technique, it looks like this:

  • pulling up should be done without rocking the torso and using inertia (only muscles should take part in the work);
  • the lifting of the body should be carried out as smoothly as possible, without sudden movements;
  • in the upper position, the chin is above the horizontal bar;
  • lower the torso as smoothly as possible. The duration of the descent should be equal to the duration of the torso;
  • be sure to breathe correctly. During the ascent, release air, and on the descent, inhale;
  • monitor the quality of the grip – it should be as strong as possible;
  • the body should be exclusively vertical to the floor.

These rules are simple and relevant for all types of pull-ups, except for working on the bar with a wide grip on the head. Here the legs need to be crossed and bent at the knees.

There are more accurate recommendations that you need to consider for different grip:

  • narrow. In this case, the task is to touch the shell with the lower part of the chest. In this case, the look must be directed to the brush;
  • narrow inverse. Exercise is performed similarly. The only thing necessary is to take your shoulders back, and bring the shoulder blades together;
  • medium direct. Here, the lifting of the body should be carried out along with the reduction of the shoulder blades. In the upper position, the chest must touch the crossbar. To properly pull the muscles, you need to fully straighten your arms;
  • neutral. In this embodiment, the torso lift is performed only due to the broadest spinal muscles, without connecting the biceps to the work. Note that the thumbs do not cover the horizontal bar from the bottom, but are located on top. At the same time, while lifting the body, it is necessary to touch the projectile in the upper position with the breast. The elbows should be directed to the floor, the look, on the contrary, is slightly higher than the horizon;
  • wide. When setting hands with a wide grip, there is no need for back deflection. Also, no need to cross and legs. It’s just the opposite. Legs and back should be in one line (to avoid serious injuries).
reverse grip


Pull-up is an exercise that must necessarily become part of your training program. You now know the most important thing – which muscles work when pulling up, how to perform exercises correctly, and also which types of grip will be most effective. It remains only to make an effort and enjoy the result.

Peter Roberts

6 thoughts on “What muscle groups can be pumped using different pull-ups?

    1. If you are a beginner I doubt that you can do 10 pull-ups at the start because only 2 to 3% of men are capable of doing 10 pull-ups a day. Other men if they are used to it they can do a lot more than 10. According to me, it is uncommon to do 10 pull up, but they are really useful to gain muscle strength of arms and back.

    1. It is because it requires lifting your entire body through your upper body mainly arms and shoulders. Another reason is that you are not used to it so you find it difficult in the beginning once you are experienced and have gained enough strength you will find it easy but specifically you should have strength in your muscles to do pull-ups and proper guidance from an expert.

    1. Yes, it is, you will have more stamina and strength doing pull-ups. You can reach your weight loss plan, if there is any, and gain muscles. However, you will need to exceed 100 pull up if you get used to it to get more benefits.

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