12 Reasons To Do Pull Ups Every Workout

If you’ve been wondering if you should include pull ups in your workouts, here are 12 reasons to do pull ups.

In this article I don’t discuss how to do a perfect pull up. If you want help with your pull up technique, then look here.

For men and women struggling to do pull ups, don’t miss the article on 5 pull variations for beginners. Add these to your workout and soon you’ll be able to do pull ups.

You may also be interested in my review of the top power towers.

I’ve also gathered together 6 power tower workout routines for you to try.

Scroll down to the end to watch a short video based on this article.

1. Build Your Back Muscles

back muscles lats
It may sound surprising, but pull ups are primarily a back exercise. The main muscles used to do a pull up are your latissimus dorsi (lats). These muscles connect your spinal column to the humerus, the bone in your upper arm.

2. Increase Grip Strength

Doing a pull up requires your hands to support your entire body. Doing even a few pull ups will increase the strength of your fingers, hands, and forearms.

3. Develop Your Abs

Doing pull ups requires you to keep your core stable. This is especially true if you are keeping your legs angled out in front of your body. So without even trying each pull up is strengthening your core and developing your abs.

4. Gain Strength Overall

As I mentioned above, pulls ups are primarily a back exercise. But they are really a compound upper-body exercise. Besides the lats, doing pull ups will also work your biceps, triceps, shoulders, forearms, and abdominal muscles (abs). In other words, each pull up is a workout for your upper body and core.

5. Prevent Muscle Imbalance

Many people do a lot of pressing exercises, but not many pulling exercises. If you’re spending a lot of time doing bench presses, but not pulling exercises, then you are at risk for muscle imbalance.

6. Functional Fitness

What is functional fitness? According WebMd, “functional fitness … focus[es] on building a body capable of doing real-life activities in real-life positions, not just lifting a certain amount of weight in an idealized posture created by a gym machine.” It’s one thing to look good in swimsuit. It’s another thing to be able to lift a heavy bag of groceries out of the trunk. Because pull ups work so many muscles, they lead to increased functional fitness.

7. Lessen Back Pain

Most of us do a lot of sitting at home, work, and while commuting. Sitting for so many hours puts a strain on your back. Because pull ups increase the strength of your core muscles, they reduce your chance of back pain.

8. Convenience

All you need to do a set of pull ups is a bar and a few minutes.
pull up bar

When I was in the Marines, part of our physical fitness test was seeing how many pulls we could do. I decided I wanted to do more pull ups. I made one simple change in my life.

There was a pull up bar just outside my barracks. Every time I walked past it I did a couple of pull ups. That’s it. Nothing fancy.

At the next fitness test I got the max score of 20 pull ups.

9. Many Variations

You will never get tired of doing pull ups. Why? Because, there are many variations of pull ups you can do. Just to name a few, you have: wide grip, close grip, weighted, commando, one hand, etc.

I will be writing an article soon about the many pull up variations you can try.

10. Improved Posture

I mentioned above that the pull up will increase the strength of your back and core. Because your back and shoulder muscles will be stronger, you will almost automatically stand straighter.

11. Lose Fat

Granted, this is a benefit shared with virtually all other exercises. But, hey, it’s part of what we want, isn’t it? Pull ups are hard. You use a lot of muscles for each one. And if you do a set of 5 or 10, you will also increase your heart rate. All of that leads to fat loss.

12. You’ll Look Better

women doing pull ups
The overall results of doing pull ups is you’ll look better. Your muscles will be more firm and trim. Your belly will be flatter. You’ll be standing tall. You’ll look better and feel better.

There you have it, 12 reasons to do pull ups. I think the benefits of doing pull ups on a regular basis are worth the effort.

Here’s my short video based on this article:

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Shlomo Skinner

I'm the one who writes most of the posts here at Fitnessator. I'm a former US Marine trying to stay in shape. I enjoy using different fitness equipment as well as body weight exercises and eating lots of healthy greens.