Best Pull Exercises To Build Muscle Strength

pull exercises

Pull exercises are a form of training movement that involves concentric contraction. A concentric contraction means shortening muscles while the movement of two connection points closer together. The primary muscles in a pull workout include all back muscles, biceps, curl, hamstrings, obliques, and trapezius. 

Some exercises are differentiated as push exercises or pull exercises. But it is a myth. The truth is that almost all exercises include both concentric and eccentric phases, and the lifting phase is concentric [shortening], while the lower phase is eccentric [lengthening]. 

Both the push and pull exercises are a part of a comprehensive training plan. Both the training provide strength and help in increasing body muscle mass. The pull exercises help the body to get accustomed through daily activities with much ease.  In this article, we will study some best pull exercises that shall provide you with strength. 


A deadlift is an exercise that focuses on the whole body, and it particularly works on hamstrings, quads, glutes, and back. To perform a deadlift, stand feet shoulder-width apart and hold the weight in front of your thighs, bend your knees slightly and tip forward from the hips, keeping your back straight. The core should be kept low and solid. 

After that, lower the torso towards the floor and keep the weight close to the legs until it touches the floor. Squeeze to the buttocks and hamstrings to come back to the starting position. While performing a deadlift, you should ensure that your back does not slump forward. It is a pull exercise in which less weight should be used initially. 

2. Dumbbell Rows 

Dumbbell Rows, popularly known as bent-over row, is a form of pull exercise which works on the middle back muscles. The middle back muscles include the trapezius, rhomboids, and latissimus dorsi, and it focuses on the back of the shoulder [posterior deltoid]. Place a dumbbell in one hand and stand up with feet hip-width apart to practice dumbbell rows. 

Move forward at the hips until your torso becomes parallel to the floor. The core should be kept engaged. Pull the weight upwards towards the rib cage. When you pull it up, your elbow should face towards the ceiling. Rows can be done as a single-arm exercise or both arms simultaneously. 

3. Bicep Curls

A bicep curl is a traditional form of pull exercise that targets the front of the upper arm. You can perform curls with dumbbells, barbells, cables, and kettlebells. To start with bicep curls, stand with one weight in each hand. The back and core should be kept strong while bending.

 Ensure that the elbows don’t drift forward or out from the sites. To get back to the starting position, lower your back down slowly. You can reduce the amount of weight if you feel that you require a lot of momentum to lift them. Once this exercise becomes easy, you can implement other movements also for the engagement of your entire body. 

4. Pull Up

Pull up is an exercise that aims at strengthening the upper body and latissimus dorsi. It is an advanced pull exercise that can also be performed at home with a properly hung pull-up bar. To begin with, hold the bar with a proper handgrip. The height of the bar should be high enough that you have to jump to take the help of a stool to hold it. 

Lift your body and bend your elbows. Your chin should match the level of the bar. Hold this position for about 1 to 2 seconds and then release it back to the starting position. If you are not comfortable with pull-up exercise, you can opt for lat pulldown exercise to strengthen the same muscles.

The Bottom Line

An average person’s ability to push is twice as strong as their ability to pull. The pulling abilities of a person are not that well developed compared to pushing strength. Thus, pull exercises become the perfect way of balancing our bodies and enhancing their functioning. By performing the aforementioned pulling exercises, you can build strength and gain muscle mass.

Frequently Asked Questions [FAQ’s]

1.What type of diet should be maintained while we have pull exercises in our routine?

Try to maintain a healthy and protein rich diet when you have pull exercises in your daily schedule. Since this type of exercise requires a lot of energy, you should have more high fibre foods in your diet. 
2. For how long should we practice these exercises?

It is advisable to perform these exercises under the guidance of an instructor or gym trainer. Their suggested timings shall help you in giving equal efforts on all parts of the body.