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10 Best Upper Body Pull Exercises

Upper Body Pull Exercises
Written by Oana Milton
Last Update: August 23, 2021

Presently, there are several different forms of exercises focusing on different parts (or different muscles/muscle groups) of the body. Although every activity is beneficial to the body, many people tend to skip the upper body pull exercises as they do not see the point in it. The upper body pull exercises are as important as any other exercise because this helps to improve your posture, reduces the risk of injury, and strengthen the upper body. This workout also enhances the tone of the muscles, making the shape of your body even better.

The increasing availability of upper body pull exercises is making it all the more difficult for people to choose the most suitable one. To make the decisions easier, we have picked the ten best upper body pull exercises that you may do.

Examples of Upper Body Pull Exercises

The Barbell Row

In this workout, you must hold the barbell with your palms facing down. You must also ensure that you are holding it at a width which is slightly more than the width of your shoulder. Afterward, you must bend your knees and move your torso forward while keeping your back completely straight. Now, without moving your torso, lift up the barbell and breathe out slowly. Hold onto the barbell for a while, and slowly put it down when you feel like it.

The Barbell Row

The Pull-up Bar Workout

The pull up bar workout is a standard technique that focuses on the strength of your arms and back muscles. The proper way of doing this exercise is to jump up to the pull up bar and pull your body up. Your back should be straight as you pull yourself closer towards the bar, and keep pulling up until your chin is above the bar. Do this work ten times.

In this type of pull up bar exercise, you must have a strong pull up bar with a comfortable grip. We’ve listed the best pull up bars that are available so that you don’t face any difficulties when choosing which pull up bar fits your needs. Be sure to properly place the pull up bar on the pull up stand as an inability to do so may risk the equipment breaking down.

The Pull up Bar Workout

Underhand Cable Pull Down

When doing the underhand cable pull down workout, you should sit down on a pull-down machine. You should adjust the knee pad of the machine so that you prevent yourself being pulled up by the resistance of the bar. Afterward, grab the bar with your palms facing the torso. Now extend your arms and pull down the bar until it touché your upper chest. You must exhale slowly when doing so and slowly inhale when you start bringing the bar back to its initial position.

Underhand Cable Pull Down

Neutral Grip Pull Up

In this type of workout, you must use a neutral grip on a parallel pull up bar. At first, make sure that your back is straight, and then by flexing your elbows pull yourself up. Stop when your chin touches the bar, and then slowly let your body reach the starting position. Repeat the process multiple times.

Neutral Grip Pull Up

Seated Cable Row

It is distinct way to give your upper body some pull exercises. Both the primary and secondary muscles are involved when performing this exercise, proving it to be worthy. For this exercise, you’ll need a rowing machine with a V-bar which will help you to get a neutral grip. With your arms extended and the back straight, reach out to the handlebars and pull them. Ensure that you have your torso perpendicular to your arms, and don’t move your torso. Breathe out firmly while you pull the handles up to the point when the handles touch your chest, and then slowly come back to your original position.

Also, take into considerations that when doing this exercise, you must use a rowing machine with a low pulley. If you don’t have one, consider buying one immediately as it will help you on multiple occasions.

Dumbbell Shrugs

This simple exercise focuses on strengthening your shoulder. When doing this exercise, you must take two dumbbells of equal weight in each hand and stand straight. You now must try to lift up the dumbbells as high as you possibly can by lifting your shoulders. Make sure that you have your arms straight during this exercise and don’t lift the dumbbells using your arms. Only your shoulders will be moving up and down. When you think that you’ve reached the maximum height, you have to come back to the original position slowly.

Side Lateral Raise

Start by taking two dumbbells of equal weights and hold onto them. Stand with your torso straight and your palms facing you. Without moving the torso, lift the dumbbells with your arms straight until the hands are slightly tilted as if you’re pouring water into a glass. After you reach this position slowly let your arms loose and get back to the position you started from.\

Side Lateral Raise

Inverted Row

Position a bar in a rack which is just around the waist height. Grip onto the bar with a width that is more than the width of your shoulder and hang underneath the bar. Your legs should be touching the ground, and your body must be straight. When you’re starting the exercise, you must begin by flexing your elbow and pull your chest closer towards the bar. You need to pause as your chest and the bar get in touch. Slowly let loose of yourself.

Bent Row

In this type of pull exercise, you must at first take two dumbbells of the same weight in each hand with your palms facing the torso. Bend your torso at the waist and bring it forward while keeping your back straight. Don’t move your torso while doing this exercise. Keeping your elbows close to the body, slowly lift up the dumbbells. Breathe out slowly while doing so, and then when you think that you can’t lift any further, slowly inhale and come back to the starting position.

Face Pull

Face towards a high pulley which has ropes or cords attached to it. Pull the handles of the cords directly to your face while increasing the separation between your arms. Pull firmly till you can’t pull any further. Also, make sure to keep your upper hand exactly parallel to the ground. When you’ve reached the maximum point, you can slowly let your arms loose. Keep doing the process until you get satisfaction.

Face Pull


So, this was our picks for the top 10 upper body pull exercises. While doing these exercises, you must ensure that you are following the guidelines of a professional trainer. Note that some of the exercises are not appropriate for people with back pain. You may also look into some of the best tools for upper body exercises which will help you in getting just the right exercise which fits you.

About the author

Oana Milton

A Personal Fitness Coach

I’m a fitness trainer specializing in female bodybuilding and lifestyle. I wasn’t always like what I’m now. My social experience is what paves me the way to this peaceful, healthy life. I understand what most women with a bulky, unfit body feel when people look at them and give a disapproving look. I took this way due to such womanly feelings. I feel motivated when a woman lets me know that my coaching did some good to her, and she’s happier than ever before. In addition to the daily workout recommendations, I also provide counseling to those who feel down amid a hostile social atmosphere. I write a lot to inspire fellow women and those who wish for a modern, elegant lifestyle. I hope you would benefit from my write-ups.

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