When it comes to building muscle, toning up, and getting in shape in general, sometimes it’s best to keep things simple.
Simplicity is very much the key in the gym, which is why bodyweight exercises are considered so beneficial.
Today we’re going to be looking at several benefits of pull-ups.
Adding mass to the back is tough, but adding mass whilst simultaneously cutting weight is harder still.
There are some truly awesome exercises when it comes to back development and functional strength, with rows and pull-downs certainly doing their part.
For many bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts, though, there is one exercise that is king when it comes to back development, and that exercise is the humble pull-up.
If you don’t perform pull-ups as part of your training regime, you will do after reading this article.
Here’s a detailed look at 15 mind-blowing pull-ups benefits.
Table Of Contents
Before we can start singing the praises of this fantastic exercise, we first need to take the time to look at what pull-ups actually are.
Pull-ups are a compound exercise that utilizes nothing but your own body weight for resistance, which makes it one of the best calisthenics exercises.
There are no fancy machines involved, all you need is a safe and secure pull-up bar and you’re good to go.
Basically, you grip the bar using an underhand or overhand grip, you hang from the bar, and then you slowly pull yourself up until your chin is slightly higher than the bar and you begin to feel a deep stretch and squeeze in your back.
Then you lower yourself down and repeat for as many reps as you can get.
Despite all of the amazing machines and pieces of equipment that you can purchase for training the back, many pro athletes and bodybuilders consider the pull up to be the king of the back exercises.
Now that we’ve looked at what pull-ups are, the time has come for us to enlighten you about the many benefits.
A few of the key pull-ups benefits include:
As the pull-up is primarily designed to be a back exercise, it should come as no surprise to learn that pull-ups are in fact fantastic for anybody looking to build up their backs.
Pull-ups target the upper, middle, and lower back muscles, making it a fantastic all-round exercise for working the back.
Not only can you add some serious mass and thickness to the back with pull-ups, but you can also tone and define the muscles as well.
If you want a thick and wide back with so many cuts that it looks like a road map, pull-ups are for you.
In terms of a desirable physique, you can’t get more aesthetically pleasing than a v-taper.
A v-taper is basically where your waist remains much smaller in comparison with your upper back, causing your back to form a type of v shape.
A v-taper creates the illusion of your waist being smaller than it naturally is, along with making you look big and powerful, and who wouldn’t want that?
Not everybody has the time or money to head to the gym to exercise several times per week.
Does this mean that these individuals should miss out on training?
If you’re struggling to make it to the gym you can perform pull-ups in more convenient places such as the home.
You will need a sturdy and secure pull-up bar, but once you have one, you’re all set.
A compound exercise is a multi-purpose exercise that targets several muscle groups at the same time.
This is very beneficial for back hypertrophy, muscle growth, strength building, fat loss, and functionality.
Pull-ups are one of the most effective compound exercises you can wish for.
By performing pull-ups, you can target multiple muscle groups located in your back, all with one exercise.
Your core, delts, biceps, and triceps also get a little work as well.
Pull-ups are predominantly an exercise that targets the back, so why, when talking about the benefits are we talking about the arms?
Well, because of the fact that pull-ups are actually great for training the biceps.
With a wide grip, you can still work the biceps slightly, but if you go for a narrow underhand grip you can really help to isolate the biceps and build a set of guns to be proud of.
Another key benefit of pull-ups is the fact that they’re great for building your strength up.
If you’re able to hold your own body weight, you’ll find just how physically demanding the exercise is.
Pull-ups are a great way to increase your strength and power, which is why many powerlifters and strongmen do them as part of their training programs.
If you’re looking to get big and strong, pull-ups are ideal.
Also, it has been added on PPL workout, PHAT workout, and Tempo training.
Having strong grip strength is very important when it comes to training in the gym.
In fact, it’s very important in general.
Having good grip strength will benefit you in a whole variety of different ways, which is why pull-ups are ideal.
When you do a pull-up, the only thing stopping you from falling to the ground is your grip.
Pull-ups are a fantastic exercise for anybody looking to increase their grip strength.
Another useful benefit associated with pull-ups is the fact that they offer the user so many different variations to choose from when performing them.
You can perform them with an overhand grip, underhand, close grip, wide grip, and much more besides.
Each variation of the exercise means that you target a slightly different part of your anatomy.
This is yet another reason why pull-ups are considered to be a fantastic multi-purpose exercise.
One slightly under-appreciated benefit of pull-ups is the fact that they’re great for building up your stamina.
Many endurance athletes incorporate pull-ups into their training regimes and enjoy great levels of success as a result.
For anybody looking to improve their physical fitness and stamina, pull-ups are great.
When you go to the gym to exercise, sometimes you’ll find yourself struggling to find the time to get everything done that you want to do.
There are only so many minutes in one day and if you’re struggling for the time your workouts may suffer.
This is where pull-ups can be so useful.
To begin with, they’re a multi-functional exercise that targets several muscle groups at once, then there’s the fact that you can do them so quickly.
You don’t need to load a machine up with weight plates, or program an LCD display, adjust seat heights, or anything else.
You simply find your bar, jump up, grab it, and away you go.
Okay, we know that one of the main benefits of doing pull-ups is the fact that they’re so physically demanding which means that they’re tough to perform.
The heavier you are, or the weaker you are, the fewer full reps you’ll perform.
If you can comfortably perform a pull-up and lift your own bodyweight however, you may find the exercise a little easy.
If this is the case then you can simply throw on a weight belt, attach a chain to it, and attach a weight plate or two to the belt for added resistance.
Now, you’re lifting yourself up, as well as the weight of the plates attached to your belt.
For building strength, muscle, and stamina, this is very useful indeed.
If you’re looking to drop a few pounds, another great benefit of pull-ups is the fact that they’re ideal for people that are trying to lose weight.
Now, granted, if your primary objective is a fat loss you’ll be better off sticking with cardio.
If you want to tighten everything up, tone up, and lose a couple of pounds in the process, however, pull-ups are ideal.
Any form of physical exertion will increase your heart rate, which will, in turn, result in you burning calories and losing fat as a result.
Pull-ups are physically demanding, and the more you perform the more energy you’ll need, which means the more calories you’ll burn off.
Okay, this benefit isn’t exclusive to pull-ups, but even so, it’s one which you’ll enjoy as a result of doing them so we’re including it anyway.
Exercise is a fantastic stress buster.
When we exercise our brains produce endorphins which are neurotransmitters that lift our mood and promote relaxation.
Endorphins are known as happy chemicals because of how they make us feel.
Whether you’re battling mental health issues, or just looking to improve your mood, as you’re exercising when performing pull-ups you’ll find that you are able to significantly improve your mood as a result.
Okay, be honest, when training your back, how many variations of rows do you perform on average?
Yes, we know that rows are great for the back, but after a while, there’s only so much rowing you can take.
You’ve got T-bar rows, bent over rows, barbell rows, seated rows, low rows, and many more besides.
Back training can therefore often get a little boring and repetitive, which is why it’s nice to make a change once in a while.
This is where pull-ups really shine.
Another of the great pull-ups benefits that we’re going to be looking at today is the fact that pull-ups offer you something different.
If you’re sick and tired of alternating through the same back exercises week after week, after week, pull-ups are great.
Pull-ups implemented as part of your back training will offer you something new, different, and exciting.
Keeping your training fresh and exciting is vital if you want to continue to make progress, which is why pull-ups are so great.
Another of the great benefits that we’re going to look at today is the fact that pull-ups are easy to master.
If you deadlifts for example, after a while you’ll hit a natural plateau in weight, and you won’t be able to go any further.
Now, you can either stick with the weight you’re stuck on, or you can go lighter and do more reps.
With pull-ups, however, it’s easy to break through a plateau and to make progress.
Practice makes perfect when performing pull-ups.
If one week you can only do 2 pull-ups, the following session you will likely get 3, then 4, then 5, and so on.
Before you know it you’ll be able to bust out a series of pull-ups like they’re nothing.
To make gains in the gym, progression is key.
It’s important to always move forward with your training, and with pull-ups, you can do precisely that.
And that just about brings us to a close.
We hope you’ve enjoyed hearing about these awesome benefits of pull-ups, and we hope that you’ll start implementing them into your training routine sooner rather than later.
The next time it’s back day, or pull day, try them out and see what you think.
Reda is an ACE Certified Nutritionist, Brazilian jiu-jitsu purple belt and bodybuilder with 11 years of experience. He's been published on many influential websites such as lifehack.org, Wealthy Gorilla, Good Men Project and more.