How To Do & Muscles Worked


Pull-ups are an upper body pull exercise that specifically target the upper body and back muscles. Strengthening the back muscles can be very helpful for functional tasks that involve pulling. Strengthening the back can also help improve posture.

  • Easy
  • Moderate
  • Challenging

Which Muscles Are Worked?

Diagram of primary and secondary muscles worked from Pull-ups

Secondary Muscles

Abs Triceps Chest

Exercise Type

Bodyweight icon

How to do pull-ups Properly

Step by Step Guide

Begin hanging from a pull-up bar with an overhand grip. The body should be in a straight line from head-to-toe with the spine and hips in neutral and the legs straight. You may cross the legs, if desired.

Draw your shoulder blades down away from your ears to engage the lats first.

Now pull your entire body straight up toward the ceiling until your chin is above the bar. The arms will bend as you draw your elbows down toward your rib cage on either side.

Then, slowly lower your body back down to a dead hang as you straighten the arms overhead.

Repeat for the desired repetitions.

Common Mistakes

A common mistake is doing these using momentum or a swinging motion. Instead, slow this down and use full control and strength from your back muscles to pull yourself up to the bar.


Animation of how to do Pull-ups