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Rear Pull-up

Rear Pull-up

The Rear Pull-up is an excellent compound exercise that primarily targets the muscles in the upper back region, specifically the lats (latissimus dorsi). This exercise is also known to engage the biceps, forearms, and posterior deltoids (shoulders). The Rear Pull-up can be performed using a pull-up bar or a set of gymnastic rings, making it a versatile exercise option for both home and gym workouts. One of the main benefits of the Rear Pull-up is its impact on developing upper body strength and improving posture. As you pull yourself up towards the bar or rings, your lats are fully engaged, promoting muscle growth and enhancing overall strength. In addition, the biceps and forearm muscles also play a significant role, contributing to the overall pulling power. The posterior deltoids, located on the backside of the shoulders, are activated during this exercise, which can further aid in improving shoulder stability and posture. Including the Rear Pull-up into your routine can also help diversify your upper body workout and promote better muscle balance. Many individuals tend to focus on exercises that predominantly work their front muscles (chest, shoulders) and neglect the back muscles, which can lead to muscular imbalances and poor posture. By incorporating the Rear Pull-up, you are actively targeting and strengthening the often-neglected upper back muscles, promoting a more symmetrical physique and reducing the risk of postural issues. While the Rear Pull-up is a challenging exercise, it can be modified to suit different fitness levels. Whether you are a beginner starting with assisted pull-ups or an advanced athlete performing weighted variations, the Rear Pull-up can be adjusted to meet your specific needs and goals. Remember to always prioritize proper form and engage your core throughout the movement to maximize results and minimize the risk of injury.


  • Stand in front of a sturdy horizontal bar or pull-up bar at a reasonable height with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Extend your arms fully and grip the bar with an overhand grip, palms facing away from you.
  • Engage your core muscles and maintain a straight body position.
  • Pull yourself up towards the bar by bending your elbows and squeezing your shoulder blades together.
  • Keep pulling until your chin is slightly above the bar or until your chest is at bar height.
  • Pause for a moment at the top of the movement, then slowly lower yourself back down to the starting position with controlled movement.
  • Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
  • If you are unable to complete a full pull-up, you can modify the exercise by using a resistance band for assistance or by performing inverted rows.

Tips & Tricks

  • Engage your core throughout the entire movement to maintain stability and control.
  • Focus on activating your back muscles, specifically the latissimus dorsi, during the pulling phase.
  • Keep your shoulders relaxed and down, avoiding any tension in the neck and upper traps.
  • Start with a comfortable grip width and gradually progress to a wider grip for increased difficulty.
  • Control the lowering phase to maximize the eccentric contraction and build strength.
  • Incorporate scapular retraction exercises, such as band pull-aparts, to improve pulling mechanics.
  • Ensure proper breathing by exhaling during the pulling phase and inhaling during the lowering phase.
  • Progress the exercise by adding weight using a weight vest or attaching a resistance band to increase resistance.
  • Include complementary exercises like lat pulldowns or bent-over rows to target the back muscles from different angles.
  • Monitor your form consistently to ensure proper technique and prevent injuries.


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