Pull-Up: Muscles Worked & Technique

Pull-Up exercise technique

Muscles Worked in Pull-Ups

Muscles worked in pull-ups

Primary muscles worked:

Secondary muscles worked:

How to Do Pull-Ups

  • Grip the bar with a pronated grip (palms facing away from you), slightly wider than shoulder width.
  • Keep your chest up, and look up at the bar.
  • Inhale and pull yourself up until your chin is over the bar, or the bar touches your upper chest.
  • Exhale and lower yourself with control until your arms are fully extended.


Pull-ups train both your lats and arm flexors effectively. By using a grip slightly wider than shoulder-width, you get a good range of motion as well as high muscle activation in all the working muscles.

You can make the exercise heavier by adding extra weight, i.e. in a weight belt, or make it easier by slinging a rubber band around the bar and under your feet.

A common variation of this exercise is to grip the bar with a supinated (underhand) grip, which makes it possible to put more focus on your arm flexors.

Want to read much, much more about pull-ups? Check out our massive guide:

Pull-Ups: How to Do Your First, and Continued Training for Mastery

>> Return to exercise directory.

Text and graphics from the StrengthLog app.