Hang from a bar and pull your torso up towards the bar until your chin passes over the bar. I’m sure you’ve done this exercise before, also known as a pull-up. Pull-ups are an upper-body pulling exercise that works the latissimus dorsi muscle in your back, biceps, and to a lesser extent, other muscles in your upper-body.
Pull-ups are one of the best bodyweight exercises you can perform as they target a large number of muscle groups and have countless variations. Choosing which variation is best for you depends on your fitness level. Here we’ll go through all the major pull-up variations and help you choose which will be best for you.
Types of pull-ups
Many types of pull-ups can be performed, depending on the person’s strength and flexibility. The most common types of pull-ups include the following:
1. Standard pull-up
The standard pull-up is the most basic type of pull-up, and it involves gripping the bar with your hands shoulder-width apart and pulling your body up until your chin is above the bar. Standard pull-ups are a great exercise for overall upper-body strength and size, and they can be performed anywhere there is a pull-up bar.
2. Wide-grip pull-up
The wide-grip pull-up is a great exercise to target the lats, upper back, and biceps. It is similar to the standard pull-up, but with a wider grip. To do a wide-grip pull-up, grab a bar with a wide grip, about shoulder-width apart. Hang with your arms straight, and then pull yourself up so that your chin is over the bar. Reverse the motion and lower yourself back to the starting position.
3. Hammer Grip Pull-up
The hammer grip pull-up is an advanced pull-up variation that involves gripping the bar with your hands in a hammer grip position. This exercise tones the muscles of the back and biceps and is a great way to improve your pull-up performance.
4. Australian Pull-up
The Australian pull-up, also known as the overhand pull-up, is a variation of the traditional pull-up that is performed with an overhand grip. This exercise is used to build strength and size in the back, shoulders, and arms. To perform the Australian pull-up, you will need to grip a pull-up bar with an overhand grip that is slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Hang from the bar with your arms fully extended and your feet together. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and pull yourself up so that your chin passes the bar. Reverse the motion and slowly lower yourself back to the starting position.
5. Narrow-Grip Pull-up
The narrow-grip pull-up is the same as a regular pull-up, but with your hands spaced closer together. This exercise is great for targeting your middle and outer back muscles. To do this exercise: hang from a pull-up bar with your hands close together, palms facing forward. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and pull yourself up to the bar, extending your elbows. Pause and then lower yourself back to the starting position. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions. This exercise targets the muscles of the back and shoulders and is a great way to increase your lat width.
6. One-arm pull-up
The one-arm pull-up is a challenging exercise that tests your strength and endurance. It also requires good grip strength. To do a one-arm pull-up, you’ll need to be able to do at least 10 standard pull-ups. Start in a standard pull-up position, with your palms facing away from you and your arms straight. Use one arm to pull yourself up to the bar, and then lower yourself back down. Repeat with your other arm.
There are so many different types of pull-ups available today that it can be overwhelming to choose, but with a little knowledge of your choices you can figure out which type is right for you or even try new things to find the perfect one. Pull-ups are one of the best upper body exercises you can do because they target your whole back and core. The key thing is to find out what the benefits of each type of pull-up are and then to focus on them during training, depending on your goals. Let this guide help show you how to decide which type will work best for you.