Calisthenics Pull Workout (The 9 Best Exercises)

If you’re trying to strengthen your upper body muscles, especially the back, biceps, and core, then you can try calisthenics pull exercises. The calisthenics pull workout increases strength, balance, flexibility, and improves upper body posture.

I’m going to share calisthenics pulling exercises from beginners to intermediate level in this article. It includes the best calisthenics pull exercises, benefits of pull calisthenics workout, and workout routine.

I’ve already written calisthenics push workouts for beginners last month and thought I should be writing on pull exercises of calisthenics training.

That’s why I’ve created this post, and I hope these calisthenics pull exercises will also be useful for you.

Related: The Best Calisthenics Back Workout And Exercises

List of Calisthenics Pull workout

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

Calisthenics Pull Workouts for Beginners

  1. Standing Poll Pulls
  2. Chinups
  3. Inverted Rows
  4. Negative Pullups

Standing Pull Forward or Wall Pulls

The standing pull forward is a beginner calisthenics pull workout that you can do with the help of the wall or pillar without any other equipment.

This exercise doesn’t increase as much strength as other calisthenics pull exercises do. However, it can work as a pull progression exercise for beginners.

How to:

  • Stand in front of a pillar (8 to 10 inches wide) grab the sides of the pillar firmly with your hands.
  • Stand straight and bring your feet as close as to the wall, and keep your arms straight so your bodyweight 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.

If you’re quite poor at doing pull-ups, then only do this exercise, or else leave it.

You may also like: The Best Calisthenics Chest Workout


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

Calisthenics Pull Workout
Calisthenics Pull Workout

Chin up helps you build sizeable arms and an athletic upper body.

Also read: Top 10 Crossfit Upper Body Workouts Of All Time

It is easy to do compared with standard pullups. So if you’re a beginner, then chin up must be incorporated into your callisthenic pull bar workout routine.

How to do chinup

  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.

Inverted Rows

The inverted row is a compound workout that works on several muscles at once, especially the arms, back, and shoulder griddle.

You can include inverted rows in your calisthenics pull workout to improve upper body strength and posture.

It has several variations, such as pronated row (IR), pronated suspended-row (SR), supinated row (IRsup), and supinated suspended-row (SRsup). (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.

The smith machine pronated inverted rows

inverted rows
inverted rows
  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 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 handles just above your stomach. That’s the start.
  5. Drive your elbows backward as your 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.

Negative Pull ups

The negative pull ups can help for scaling up for regular and wide grip pull ups.

It helps you increase upper body strength, especially arms and back.

The negative pullup also called a half “pull up” because you only lower yourself down instead of pulling upward.

Here are the steps you can follow to do negative pull ups

  1. With the help of a bench, box, or your partner, grab the pullup bar with an overhand grip and get into the top position where your chin is above the bar, your elbows are fully bent.
  2. Engage your entire upper body muscles including back and core. That’s the start.
  3. Lower your body slowly in a controlled fashion, as slow as possible, engaging your upper body muscles until your arms are fully straight so your body is in the dead hang position. This is your one repetition.
  4. Repeat the same steps and complete as many repetitions as possible.

Calisthenics Pull Exercises for Intermediate

  1. Ring Rows
  2. Pullups
  3. Muscles Up
  4. Weighted Pull-Ups
  5. L-Pull-Up

Ring Rows

Before scaling up for the pull-ups, ring row can be an efficient calisthenics pull exercise to do to increase pulling strength.

The ring row is an effective upper body workout that can help you strengthen your back, arms, shoulder, and core.

 How to do ring rows

  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.


Calisthenics pull up workout
Calisthenics pull up workout

It is one of the primary pull exercises of all time. The Pull-up primarily works on back muscles and helps build a stronger and wider back.

It also engages your biceps, core, 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, intermediate or advanced calisthenics enthusiast, pull-ups should be your primary exercise.

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.

Muscle up

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

How to do muscles 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.

Weighted Pull-Ups

Once you’ll be good at doing bodyweight pull ups, you must 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 and increases your overall pulling strength.

The weighted pullup can be effective calisthenics pull workout that 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.

L Pull Up

The L pull-up is a challenging but an effective calisthenics pull up bar workout.

People who want to do L pull-ups must have a strong core, adequate upper body strength, flexibility, and shoulder mobility.

If you’re an intermediate or advanced calisthenics fitness enthusiast, you must include it in your calisthenics pulling exercises.

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. The calisthenics pull exercises also fix bad posture and help you improve body composition.
  4. Most calisthenics pull workouts are compound movements that engage and build several muscles simultaneously.
  5. You can do calisthenics pull-up bar workouts to build muscles without the help of expensive gym equipment.

Calisthenics Pull Workout Routine

I’ve created a sample of a workout routine that you can use to do callisthenic pulling exercises. If you don’t find this routine suitable for your fitness level, you can create your own plan.

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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