6 Benefits Of Pullups: Why You Need To Do Pull Ups and How to Do More

Benefits of Pullups

There are many benefits of pullups. I could go on about the importance of this exercise all day, but today I’m going to talk about the top 6 benefits and I’m also going to give you a few tips on how to do more pullups.

Benefit #1: Convenience

Pullups are one of the most convenient exercises around. You can do them pretty much anywhere. All you need is a bar and your body.

When I first started working out as a teen, I used a random metal pole that I found in the garage and hung it my laundry room. Voila!

Before you go out and buy a pull up bar, check out the list of best pull up bars I put together. I tried to include an option for nearly every situation.


Benefit #2: Fundamental Compound Upper-body Exercise

Compound exercises are important because they target multiple muscle groups.

No doubt you know how important squats are for your legs, well think of it this way – Pullups are to your upper body what squats are for your lower body.

There is no other excise that will make your upper body grow quite like pullups. Specifically, pullups do a great job of targeting the back and biceps. If you want a V-taper physique, pullups are a must!

Benefit #3: Easily Increase Intensity

Regularly increasing the intensity of your workouts is one of the secrets to building muscle.

Some exercises require you to get fancy with your workouts in order to increase the intensity, but not pullups.

You can boost the intensity of your back workout simply by strapping a weight plate to your waist or hanging a kettle bell or dumbbell from your feet.


Benefit #4: Many Variations

One of the best benefits of pullups is that there are so many different variations of the pullup.

The great thing is that one variation doesn’t require any additional equipment than another variation. All you’ve got to do is change up your grip.

My favorite variation is the regular ole’ fashioned wide, overhand pullup. This is the best variation for getting your lats to grow nice and wide.

Some other good variations are close grip pullups , and reverse grip pullups (also known as chinups).

I find that all of these variations do a great job of targeting my back, but reverse grip pullups (chinups) place more emphasis on the biceps.

I noticed a lot of progress in my bicep development once I started doing chin ups. So if you want big arms, make sure you’re doing chin ups


Benefit #5: Grip Strength

If you’re a serious bodybuilder, than having good grip strength is a must. Fortunately, pullups are the perfect exercise for strengthening your grip.


Benefit #6: Fat Loss

It’s not quite like running on a treadmill or jumping rope, but pullups will get your heart rate up and really kick your butt. If you want to boost the fat loss effects of pullups, decrease the time in-between sets or  super-set your pullups with another exercise.

That’s it. Those are my top 6 benefits of pullups.

Below you can find a list of pullups tips that should help you out in your quest to build a bigger upper body and do more pullups.

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3 Tips For Doing More Pullups:

1. Pullups are superior to pull downs – Go to the gym any day of the week and I guarantee your chances of finding a free pull up bar is much higher than finding a free pull-down machine.

People are lazy these days, they would rather do what’s easy and comfortable than what’s hard, but more beneficial.

Pull downs are O.K. but they should be added to supplement your pull ups, not replace them.


2. Assisted pull ups are superior to pull downs – Get out of your comfort zone. Even if you can’t do a pullup, try ditching the pull-down machine for the assisted pullup machine.

It’s not as embarrassing as you think. Each week you’ll make a little bit of progress and before you know it, you won’t have to use the assisted pull up machine. You’ll be able to do a real pullup.


3. Even if you can only do 1 or 2 pullups, do it – Practice makes perfect. If you can only do 1 or 2 pullups, but decide never to do them, how will you ever reach 10 pullups?

Stop making excuses and start doing pull ups. When I could only do 1 or 2 pullups I would perform 3-4 sets of assisted pull ups, and then do a couple of sets of body weight pullups,, even though I could only do 1 or 2.

About the Author

Anthony Myers
My name is Anthony. I'm the main author of MuscleClass.com. Download my $77 muscle building course for free here - > Click here to download

78 Comments on "6 Benefits Of Pullups: Why You Need To Do Pull Ups and How to Do More"

  1. Is there a way to make a pull up assisted bar at home? Also is it true that hanging with your chin to the bar helps gain strength as well? I can’t even do one pull up-yet, but just by trying to hang I can feel it in my shoulders, back, and arms. 🙂

  2. What do you think about doing pull ups every 2nd day continuously never breaking that cycle?

    • I think it’s a good idea. If you’re worried about overtraining, I’ve never personally experienced over training or knew any one who has. I prefer to hit my muscles multiple times per week with high volume, it’s always worked well for me.

  3. Arsenal1Again | August 17, 2016 at 6:12 pm |

    Pull ups make me laugh before I do them. I look forward to doing them every Monday Wednesday and Friday because I can see the benefits and feel the benefits after each day. Every week I am able to do more reps. I mix it up by using different hand placements each set and I keep doing them until I cannot do a single rep.

    My whole upper body glows instead of feeling sore and the next day between pull up days after my second meal of the day my whole body tightens, has definition and though I never do my abs, I can see them from doing pull-ups. I am also about an inch taller because my posture is more upright. I can’t slouch now, the muscle I have developed from pull-ups has made it impossible, the body automatically keeps in a correct posture.

    What else, the pull-ups sculpt the upper body in a symmetrical way – all the muscles at the same time – whereas free weights develop parts of the body faster or slower than other parts which you notice in a mirror. When you put a shirt after 2 months of pull-ups, people can see your shape, the shirt fits perfectly – whereas after using free weights the shirt can be tight in the chest and loose on the shoulders, or tight on the back and loose in the chest and so on.

    Everybody found pull-ups HARD at first. Like Anthony says, even if you can only do 1 or 2, doing just one at random times of the day will very quickly lead to two being done at random times of the day.

    You can actually build your whole body into a brick out-house doing just pull-ups, chin-ups and squatting down and up while holding something heavy in your arms … a body with no major body fat and one which is stronger than any man who cannot do pull-ups.

    Instead of using weighted pull-ups I spread my arms further instead. Many people take the easier option of using a weight belt instead of the harder option with more benefits. Instead of using a weight belt you can also do one arm pull-ups instead (you have just doubled your load). If you are at the stage where you want to use a weight belt, you can do at least one pull-up using just one hand … and you can work getting that to 2 pull-ups using one hand and so on.

    The most important thing about pull-ups is that you LOOK STRONG in no time and everybody knows you are strong if you lift your body weight repeatedly because they can’t do it once. I weigh 260Ibs, do the math.

  4. hey man, i even cant do a single pull up 🙁

  5. About 5months ago i could only do 2 barely….put i kept at it. I put a pull up bar in my kitchen doorway and at random i do pull ups. Now to date i can do like 7-8 pull ups. It has trimmed that back fat roujnd the bra area ALOT!!!

  6. Yes i totally agree pullups are the Squats for the upper body,,i started just doing 4 pull ups 3 sets,,now im on 4 sets of 10 with 20kg swinging between my legs,,and and a v back thats comiing on nicely..its so sad to see how people these days training just going for the easy excersises,same with the squat rack always a lonley place,,ha but i gotta admit theres seems to be more girls on the squats these days which aint a bad thing but thats another post,,lol do youre pull ups they are good for you ,and hey trainings meant to be hard ,,safe but hard,,

  7. Agustin Bernal | December 23, 2014 at 8:15 am |

    I was stuck at 5 reps with the pull up, so what I did was do pull ups with a 35lb kettlebell between my legs (suspended from a dipping belt).
    At first I could do only one rep, so I did 10 sets of one rep. Within seven days I was up to three reps and when I tested myself without the weight I was able to do 10 pull ups easily. I continued with the weighted pull ups and by two months I could do 5 reps X 5 sets with a 53lb kettlebell, and without the kettlebell I could knock out 15 strict pull ups. For me the weighted pull ups was the way to add reps to by bodyweight pull ups.

  8. push up increase height yes or no

  9. Hey hi Anthony,
    I started trying for pull up from last month. I struggled to make 1 initially but now I am able to do 10 at a stretch. But the problem is I couldn’t take the same 10 in next set. Can you give me idea?

    • Hey,

      If you went from 1 to 10 that is awesome progress. Not being able to do 10 on your 2nd set is completely normal, your body is fatigued. How long are you resting? You should regain about 90% of your strength after ~2 minutes of rest, just try to rest a little longer, but don’t worry – it’s completely normal to do less reps with each set, you’re breaking your muscles down and fatiguing your body.

  10. by doing pull up’s cant we grow our height as in sites they said by doing pull up’s u can grow yor height….???..:(

  11. I have been doing pushups 9 times and some
    other exercises and take a one day rest in a week.
    Would that be good for my body taking of one day rest ?
    Also, Is there any chance to grow taller by doing these excercise?
    I have been doing these exercises for 2 months.
    My age: 23
    Thanks in advance

    • Hey Sujit,

      It’s absolutely necessary that you give your body a break at least once a week.

      Are you only doing push-ups? If you don’t have access to a gym, you should include other body-weight exercises into your routine. Do things like pull ups, chin ups, dips, jumping squats, lunges, etc.

      They will not make you taller, unfortunately 🙁 I am only 5’9″ so if it was going to make you taller I would be doing them every day lol. The funny thing is that my Dad is about 6’4″ and my whole life they would tell me I was going to be tall like my Dad… I’m 25 and still waiting for that growth spurt I was promised.

  12. Pull up is an effective exercise that helps to develop muscles on our back and arms. Even one pull up can make drastic changes in your body muscles. Can pull ups help to strengthen chest? If yes. How is it possible?

  13. What does push ups do to our body???

  14. Sameer Paracha | May 30, 2014 at 8:38 am |

    Can Pull-ups & Push-ups increase your height? If yes then how many sets will I have to do everyday?

  15. I am 14 years old…and my height is 5’6…i can co 10 pullups and 15 chinups…but…will doing pullups and chinups or pushups stop my height growth..???

  16. does pullups and pushups affect growth of height and i m16

  17. Arch Stanton | February 26, 2014 at 7:12 pm |

    How many pull-ups should you aim for? I’m a total beginner and can only do 6 chin-ups and i tried pull-ups and did 4 sets of 3 first time.

    • Work your way up to 10 pull-ups.

      It’s okay, I could not even do 1 when I started. I had to use the assistance machine that has a little lifting pad, I would set it to about 50lbs, so it was taking 50lb off my body weight.

  18. Rohit Yadav | January 21, 2014 at 4:29 pm |

    i wanted to know wether pull ups or push ups are good for ne?
    i want to increase my muscles but dont want to loose weight..

    • Hey Rohit,

      They are both great for you. Pull-ups will help you build a nice back and great arms.
      Pushups will help with a fuller chest and triceps.

      You won’t lose weight as long as you’re eating a lot.

  19. thanks for the advice and im new to the pull ups even tho i had the bar for a while. i used toonly be able to do one now i can do sets of 4 or 5. do you have a routine in mind to incorporate all the style of pull ups, for maximum back and bicep growth?

    • Hey T.Paige, I’m actually working on a program that I plan to sell for $20-$40 that is literally ALL about getting bigger arms (biceps, triceps, forearms)… I can hook you up with a free review copy so long as you’re willing to give me your honest feedback about how I can improve it and make it better for my customers (don’t worry I wont get offended at your critiques haha) just shoot me an email to anthony@muscleclass.com

      It’s a win/win for both of us.

  20. Yes, you’re completely right, practice makes perfect! Two years ago, I couldn’t even do one pull up. But now I’m been doing sets of 5 pull ups every night about 10 – 20 times. In a one time go I can do about 15 – 20 pull ups which impresses everyone watching. Btw, someone told me that this could possibly increase my height, and I was wondering if it was true, because I’m still a teen and a little height boost is always nice.

  21. will pull ups help me to get wide shoulder?

  22. Does pull ups or push ups effect on my height ..?

  23. Definitely about the grip strength too. Weighted pull-ups really make my forearms pump, especially when combined with seated rows.

    It’s quite surprising that my arms can go from having movable skin, to being solid as a rock.

    What is the optimum about of times to do pull-ups per week? I usually do it 2-3 times, so my lats have time for recovery.

  24. I went from 1 body weight pull-up to 6 pull-ups with 8kg on my belt in 3 months.

    I’m not sure if that is fast or not, but I like the fact that I am one of few people who I’ve seen doing pull-ups with added weight…

    By the way, my body weight is 66kg, so I guess that means I’m doing pull-ups with 1.12x body weight.

    • Awesome, great work dude.

      I started off with the assisted pull up machine, and gradually I was able to do 1 or 2 pull ups.
      Now I can put weights around my waist. Feels good, right!?

  25. from pullups height will icrease?

  26. Nice job Anthony! Thanks for some of the advice. If I’m not sore the next day would you advise me to do more until I am sore? I’m 19, I can do 16 close grip chin ups. My wide pull ups lack though ;-). Thanks again in advance! How many sets would you recommend of max pull ups?

    • Hey Taylor,

      Soreness is not a good indicator of whether or not you had a good workout. If you’re not sore, it doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t train your muscles properly.
      I’ve been lifting for years now and I just don’t get those painful days where I can’t even move anymore, lol. Looking back on it though, I kind of miss those days 🙂

      Remember, close grip chin ups involve more bicep than wide pulls ups, so perhaps you’ve got some strong arms and it’s helping you do so many chin ups.

      Generally I’d only do 3 sets of pull-ups, but if it’s something you want to improve on I’d say 4-6 sets of 8-12 reps would be perfectly fine and should help
      bring up that lagging muscle group nicely.

  27. HI, will regular pull-ups increase my height. or suggest some other exercise at home to increase height.

  28. Great article. I have a question. If I only do wide pullps with wide pushups will it eventually cause muscle imbalance?

    • Hey Allen,

      You won’t develop muscle imbalance, but I still recommend doing other variations of pull ups. The other variations offer a lot of benefits that you’re missing out on if you simply skip them.
      Close-grip reverse chin ups for example are a great bicep exercise. I take them over curls any day.

  29. Thanks for your input. It’s going well. It’s amazing how much it has help my overall upper body strength. I like its simplicity. Best.

  30. Hey Anthony,

    Thanks for the blog. I’m new to pull up and after my first time, the next day my upper body hurts. Should I keep doing it or rest until the pain is gone? What is your suggestion? Thanks from China.

    • Hey!

      Definitely listen to your body, if you are sore then give your body a day off. However, don’t baby yourself. As long as it’s not uncomfortable to train, I would go to the gym.

      I hope this helps!

  31. Hey knuckle heads,,lol,m all the way from south africa n I find this article interesting,,I’m a very skinny guy iv been doing pull ups bt instead of growing muscles I jus end up looking like bruce lee,,fit but skinny,,,I wana look like hulk hogan,,considering supplements,,advice please

    • Hey. Dang, all the way from Africa? I had no idea I readers out there 🙂

      It sounds like you’re a hardgainer. Which has it’s pros and cons. The pro is that you’ll probably always be lean.
      The con is that it’s hard to hold onto weight.

      You’ve got to eat A LOT and you’ll grow past that Bruce Lee look.

  32. this is a great article… thank you for your hard work writing these motivators… i am doing wide grip pull ups for 2 years now and i can do 12 pull ups… its a great progress … when i first started i can only do 2

    • Hey Junmar,

      Thanks for the kind words. I appreciate it.
      Comments like these motivate me to keep writing

  33. I have a pull up bar in my and my wife’s bedroom that I break out every day, and absolutely love it. I always do some as soon as I wake up(so I can have breakfast after) and before dinner(again, so there is food after). It’s become a daily routine and I love it!

  34. Azhar Khan | June 24, 2012 at 3:16 pm |

    Hi Anthony,
    Thanks for all great stuff.
    More people will take a look cause this site is simple , clean of ads and cool, having great stuff.
    I appreciate your efforts,
    I am beginner and want to have smart body muscles and good look. If you can give me some complete home exercise thing I am and I shall be so thankful to you. Gonna advise some people also and hey if u could let me know about e.g, people say bodybuilding stops growth to tall and remains short etc is is true.
    Thanks again.

    • Hey Azhar!

      Thanks for the kind words, that means a lot. Comments like this keep me motivated to continue writing.

      The best home exercises are pull-ups (all variations), push-ups (all variations), dips (you can use a bed or chair for these), jumping squats, and some good-ole cardio like
      jump roping.

      Also, bodybuilding will NOT stunt your growth. It’s simply nothing more than a myth!

  35. Great advice.

    • Thanks Frankie!

      It’s encouraging to hear positive feedback on my advice/articles.

      I’ll keep pounding out the great advice!

      • Any on advice on how to get more from pull ups?

        Or how much intensity should I go?

        I usually think I don’t want to go too hard and hurt myself – I think that blocks me from building the muscle I want. But I don’t know…

        • Use varying pull-up methods. Wide grip, close grip, reverse grip, etc. That way you will hit all the different areas of your back. You’ll also get some bicep-benefits from doing close grip and reverse grip.
          If you can do more than 15 pull-ups, you could also try strapping added weight around your waist to increase the intensity. Your body will tell you when you’re pushing yourself too hard.p
          let me know how it goes.

  36. Hey thanks Anthony!

    Would I would like to see is more step by step gym stuff. Like easy to do routines, If easy is possible when working out…

    I guess I want to do the least amount of work and get the most gains.

    Looking forward to your newsletter. And hopefully a product or two also!

    Thanks again for all your hard work!

    I’ll share this with my friends that need to get in shape!

  37. Thanks for the great post! I love doing pull ups!

    I have a iron gym and it rocks!

    Have you ever herd of or done “corn-cob” pull-ups?

    Also, that be great if you had a newsletter of some sort. My sisters wedding is coming up. I want to look ripped so I can attract this girl that I’ve like for awhile.

    Plus looking good and be fit, and having a LOT of energy is great.

    But a mailing list would be great. Some great content about getting big muscles. Maybe some motivation too. Maybe some products too. Anything that relates to getting bigger muscles – because, well that my goal and that’s why I came to you site. I’ll do what ever it takes. Thanks Anthony!

    • Thanks Mike,

      I appreciate the suggestions.

      Iron Gym is a great tool. It’s really simple, inexpensive, and effective.

      I have heard of corncob pull-ups, but I find that they are more entertaining than effective 🙂
      That’s not to discount their effectiveness at all. I’m sure they are quite the workout. I just prefer
      to do the basic pull up variations and so far have seen nothing but great results with them.

      With that being said… I’ve never seen an out-of-shape person do corn-cob pull-ups. So that’s
      got to count for something, right? lol.

      Also, I’m actually in the middle of setting up the newsletter now! Glad to hear people are looking forward to it.

      P.S – Congrats to your sister!

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