Calisthenics Pull Workout (10 Best Exercises of all Time)

If you want to strengthen and tone your upper body muscles, especially the back, biceps, and core, then you can try calisthenics pull exercises.

The calisthenics pull workout increases strength, balance, and flexibility and improves posture.

I’ve shared various calisthenics pulling exercises from beginners to intermediate level, their benefits, and workout routine in this article.

Depending on your fitness level and goal, you can integrate them into your calisthenics workout routine.

List of Calisthenics Pull workout

  1. Wall Pulls
  2. Chin-up
  3. Inverted Row
  4. Negative Pullup
  5. Superman Pull
  6. Ring Row
  7. Pull-up
  8. Muscles Up
  9. Weighted Pull-Up
  10. L Pull-Up

Calisthenics Pull Workouts for Beginners

  • Standing Poll Pulls
  • Chinups
  • Inverted Rows
  • Negative Pullups
  • Superman Pull

1. Standing Pull Forward or Wall Pull

The standing pull forward is an excellent exercise for beginners who want to develop upper body functional strength. You can do this exercise at home using a pillar or wall.

The pull forward doesn’t increase as much strength as other exercises do. However, it is good for progression.

How to perform a wall pull step-by-step:

  • Stand in front of a pillar (8 to 10 inches wide) and firmly grab the pillar’s sides with your hands.
  • Stand straight and bring your feet as close as to the wall, and keep your arms straight so your body weight shifts backward. That’s the start.
  • Pull yourself toward the well as close as possible your back muscles engaged. You can pause for a couple of seconds before returning your body to the start.

2. Chinups

The Chin-up is more effective than the lat pulldown in terms of overall muscle activation in the upper body. It appears to be a more functional exercise shown in a study published by Sports Biochemistry.

Calisthenics Pull Workout
Calisthenics Pull Workout

Chin-up helps you build muscular arms and an sculpted back.

You can add chin up to your callisthenic pull day workout routine to improve torso definition.

How to do a chinup step-by-step:

  1. Grab the bar with an underhand grip, so your palms are facing you. And let your body hangs by extending your arms straight; your arms must be hip to shoulder-width apart. That’s the start.
  2. Pull yourself up until your chin is just above the bar. You’ll feel the contraction in your biceps muscles when you reach the top position.
  3. Pause for a moment and then slowly return your body to the start. This is your one rep.
  4. Do as many sets and repetitions as you can.

3. Inverted Rows

The inverted row is a compound workout that works on several muscles at once, especially the arms, lats, upper back, and posterior delt.

It’s an excellent bodyweight exercise for developing a well shaped back and improving pulling strength without putting too much stress on the lower back.

It has several variations, such as pronated row, pronated suspended row, supinated row, and supinated suspended row. (Source)

Let’s see how to do the usual pronated row on the bar (overhand grip row) and supinated suspended TRX row (underhand suspension row) with step-by-step instructions.

Pronated Inverted Row

smith machine pronated inverted row
Smith machine pronated inverted row
  1. Set up the bar in the smith machine and lay down on your back just underneath.
  2. Grab the bar with an overhand grip; your hands are shoulder-width apart.
  3. Place your feet firmly on the ground and keep your arms straight so your body hangs below the machine.
  4. Keeping your abdominal muscles tight, pull your torso up until your chest is close to the bar.
  5. Pause for a moment and then lower your body in a controlled fashion to the start.
  6. Make sure you feel muscle the contraction in your upper body muscles as you pull and return to the beginning.
  7. Complete as many repetitions as required.

The Suspension Supinated Row

  1. Firmly attach the suspension rope to a bar.
  2. Grab the handles with a neutral grip, so your palms are facing each other.
  3. Take a couple of steps forward, and keep your arms fully extended, so your body leans backward until your knees are bent to 90 degrees. Keep your feet strongly on the floor.
  4. The arms should be straight, and the handles should be just above your stomach. That’s the start.
  5. Drive your elbows backward as you pull yourself up until your chest is a couple of inches away from the handles and your body is at a 45-degree angle to the floor.
  6. Pause for a moment and then return slowly return to the start. That’s one rep.
  7. Do the needed number of sets and reps according to your fitness level.

4. Negative Pull-up

The negative pull-up bolster arms and back simultaneously and helps increase strength for regular and wide grip pull-ups.

It is also called a half “pull up” because you only lower yourself down instead of pulling upward.

Steps to do a negative pull-up:

  1. Grab the pullup bar with your hands shoulder-width apart with your thumbs over the bar.
  2. Pull yourself up until your chin is above the bar.
  3. Engage your entire upper body muscles, including your back and core. That’s the start.
  4. Lower your body in a controlled fashion, as slow as possible until your arms are fully straight. This is your one repetition.
  5. Repeat the same steps and complete as many repetitions as possible.

5. Superman Pull

The superman pull is an easy and effective way to works on your lats, traps, and lower back and improve flexibility in your back.

It can be an excellent exercise to include in your calisthenics pull day workout routine.

How to perform superman pull step-by-step:

  • Lie prone on the floor with your face down and arms straight in front of your head.
  • Lift your arms and feet off the floor and pull your elbows in until your back muscles are entirely engaged.
  • Pause for a moment and extend your arms to the start.

Calisthenics Pull Exercises for Intermediate

  • Ring Rows
  • Pullups
  • Muscles Up
  • Weighted Pull-Ups
  • L-Pull-Up

6. Ring Rows

The ring row helps strengthen shoulder, arms, and core and increases pulling strength.

However it requires access to rings to perform perform this movement.

 Steps to do a ring row:

  1. Set up the rings to your chest height, and stand upright with your feet underneath the Rings.
  2. Grab the rings with a neutral grip and lean backward until your arms are fully straight, while your feet must be grounded on the floor below the rings.
  3. Engaged your core and keep your back straight. That’s the start.
  4. Driving your elbows backward, pull yourself up until your chest is a few inches above the rings.
  5. Pause for a moment at the top and then slowly return to the start. This is your one rep.
  6. Make sure you feel the contraction in your lats, arms, shoulder, and core during the movement.
  7. Complete as many reps as required according to your strength level.

7. Pullup

Calisthenics pull up workout
Calisthenics pull up workout

The Pull-up primarily works on back muscles and helps build a stronger and wider lats.

It also engages your abs, biceps, and as many as a total of 21 muscles of the upper body that makes it one of the best bodyweight strength workouts.

Whether you’re a beginner or intermediate, men or women calisthenics athlete, pull-ups should be one of your primary exercises.

How to do pull-up

  1. Grab the pull-up bar with an overhand grip with your hands two times wider than hip-width apart. And hang onto it by keeping your arms straight.
  2. Keep your core tight and bend your knees slightly if you want. This is your starting position.
  3. Pull your body up with your full strength as high as you can, hold for a moment at the top, and then return your body to the starting position in a controlled fashion.
  4. This is your one repetition.
  5. Depending on your fitness level, complete as many reps as required.

8. Muscle up

Once doing pull-ups will be a cup of tea for you, you can try muscle-up. Muscle up is an advanced calisthenics pull workout and helps you improve strength, speed, flexibility, and balance.

To perform muscles up, you need to be fast as much as possible during the exercise so you can generate swings and perform efficiently.

Steps to perform a muscle up:

Stand a couple of steps away from the pull-up bar as it will allow you to generate swinging movement when you grip the bar.

  1. So standing two three steps away from the bar, walk and quickly grab the pull-up bar with an overhand grip with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  2. Make sure your thumbs are on the bar with your other fingers, instead of under it. And your arms should be extended.
  3. Pull your chest toward the bar until your chin crosses it. And from that position perform a dip by pressing the bar downward.
  4. Once you complete the dip, return to the starting position. That’s one repetition.
  5. Do needed number of sets and reps according to your fitness level.

9. Weighted Pull-Up

Once you’ll be good at doing bodyweight pull ups, you can also try with weights.

You can do weighted pull-ups using a gym vest or weighted belt. Adding weights to pull up makes it more challenging but will increases overall strength, build upper body muscles and improve body composition.

How to do weighted pullups

  1. Wear a gym waist belt and attach the weight plate to your body. You can also use a dumbbell between your feet, but this can be taxing on your body.
  2. Once you’re ready with the weight, grab the pullup bar with an overhand grip by stepping up on a bench or box.
  3. Keep your arms and body straight underneath the bar. This is your starting position.
  4. Pull your body upward as much as you can.
  5. Pause for a moment when you reach your top position, and then return to the start. That’s one rep.
  6. Depending on your strength level, do as many reps as you can.

10. L Pull Up

The L pull-up is a challenging but an effective exercise, you can integrate into your calistehnics pull workout. It bolster abdominal, back, and arms, and improve flexibility and shoulder mobility.

If you’re an intermediate or advanced calisthenics fitness enthusiast, you can do it to scale up your fitness level.

How to do L pull up

  • Hang onto the bar with your hands are shoulder-width apart and palms facing downward.
  • Raise your legs up until your body forms an “L” shape.
  • Keep your abdominal muscles tight and your entire body engaged. That’s the start.
  • Pull yourself as high as possible, hold for a moment at the top, and then lower your body to the start.
  • Staying in the same shape, do as many repetitions as you can.

Benefits of Pull Calisthenics Exercises

Let’s take a look at some of the important calisthenics pull workout benefits

  1. The calisthenics pull workout can help you build a stronger upper body especially the arms, back, and shoulder.
  2. Most of the calisthenic pulling exercises done on the pullup bar. And it can help you increase grip strength.
  3. They also fix bad posture and help you improve body composition.1 The effects of a calisthenics training intervention on posture, strength and body composition – Isokinemetic and Exercise Science
  4. Most calisthenics pull workouts are compound movements that engage and build several muscles simultaneously.
  5. Calisthenics exercises are mostly bodyweight so you need special equipment to perform them.

30-Minute Calisthenics Pull Workout Routine

Duration: 30 Minutes, Rest between sets: 1-2 minutes

  • Inverted Rows
    • Repetitions: 8-12
    • Sets: 2-4
  • Chinups
    • Repetitions: 8-10
    • Sets: 2-4
  • Ring Rows
    • Sets: 2-4
    • Reps: 8-12
  • Pullups
    • Sets: 2-4
    • Reps: 8-12
  • Muscles Up
    • Sets: 2-4
    • Reps: 6-12



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Murshid Akram
I'm an online personal trainer, fitness blogger, and fitness enthusiast. I love researching and writing about exercise and nutrition. I share science-based, practical, and logical information that can help you achieve your desired fitness goal.

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