Pull-Day Workout Routine: The Best for Muscles and Strength

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Are you ready to enhance your upper body strength and build a well-balanced physique? Join us as we explore the world of pull-day workouts. Discover the best exercises and techniques to target your back, biceps, and rear shoulders. Let’s dive into the ultimate guide for a stronger, more sculpted you!

Are you looking to revamp your fitness routine and achieve a well-rounded physique? If so, it’s time to dive into pull-day workouts.

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Whether you’re a seasoned gym-goer or just starting your fitness journey, understanding and incorporating pull-day workouts can significantly impact your overall strength and muscle development.

This comprehensive guide will explore the ins and outs of pull-day workouts, from their benefits and anatomy to designing effective routines and avoiding common mistakes.

After going through this page, you’ll have the knowledge and tools to create a pull-day workout that suits your fitness level and helps you reach your goals. So, let’s start and work towards a stronger, healthier you!

What is a Pull-Day Workout?

A pull day, also known as a “pull workout,” is a specific type of workout routine in strength training and bodybuilding.

It focuses on exercises primarily involving pulling movements, using your muscles to pull resistance toward your body, or lifting your body weight toward a stationary object.

Must Read: Bicep and Tricep Workouts

The main muscle groups targeted during a pull-day workout typically include the back, biceps, and rear shoulder muscles.

Pull-day workouts are an essential part of a well-balanced fitness routine because they help to counterbalance the “push” exercises, which involve pushing resistance away from your body like bench presses and push-ups.

Balancing push and pull exercises is crucial for developing overall strength, muscle symmetry, and functional fitness.

During a pull-day workout, joint exercises include pull-ups, rows, deadlifts, bicep curls, and face pulls.

These exercises work for various muscle groups within the back, biceps, and rear deltoids. A well-structured pull-day routine promotes muscle growth and helps improve posture, reduce the risk of injury, and enhance your functional strength for everyday activities.

Benefits of Incorporating Pull Day Workouts

Benefits of Pull Day Workouts

Pull-day workouts offer many advantages for individuals seeking a well-rounded and effective fitness routine. Here are some key benefits of incorporating pull-day workouts into your exercise regimen:

1. Improved Posture: Pull-day exercises primarily target the muscles of the upper back, which play a crucial role in maintaining good posture. Strengthening these muscles can help counteract the effects of prolonged sitting and reclining, reducing the risk of developing postural issues and back pain.

2. Balanced Muscle Development: Balancing push and pull exercises ensures that you evenly work the front and rear muscle groups. This symmetry enhances your physique and reduces the risk of muscular imbalances that can lead to injuries.

3. Reduced Risk of Injury: A strong back and rear shoulder muscles contribute to a stable and resilient upper body. This can help prevent injuries, especially in lifting, twisting, or carrying heavy objects.

4. Enhanced Functional Strength: Pull-day workouts improve your ability to perform everyday tasks that involve pulling motions, such as lifting groceries, opening doors, or pulling yourself up. This functional strength can make daily activities more accessible and reduce the risk of strain or injury.

5. Variety in Your Fitness Routine: Adding pull-day workouts to your routine introduces variety and prevents workout boredom. Diversifying your exercises keeps your workouts engaging and helps you stay motivated to pursue your fitness goals.

By incorporating pull-day workouts into your fitness regimen, you’ll experience these physical benefits and create a more well-rounded and effective exercise routine.

Targeted Muscle Groups for Pull-Day Workout

Targeted Muscle for Pull Day Workout

Pull-day workouts are designed to target specific muscle groups in the upper body. Understanding which muscles are engaged during these workouts is essential for effective training.

The primary muscle groups targeted during pull-day workouts include:

Back Muscles

1. Latissimus Dorsi (Lats): The lats are the broad, fan-shaped back muscles. They are responsible for most pulling movements, such as pull-ups and rows.

2. Trapezius (Traps): The traps run down the upper and mid-back and help with various pulling and shrugging movements.

3. Rhomboids: These muscles are located between the shoulder blades and are crucial for scapular retraction and stability.


The biceps brachii, often called the biceps, are engaged during exercises that involve bending the elbow, such as bicep curls and chin-ups. At the same time, the biceps are a smaller muscle group but vital in pull-day workouts.

Rear Shoulder Muscles (Posterior Deltoids)

The posterior deltoids are the muscles on the back of the shoulders. They are involved in exercises that require shoulder extension and play a supporting role in many pull-day movements.

Understanding the specific muscle groups targeted in pull-day workouts allows you to choose exercises that effectively engage and strengthen these areas. This balanced approach helps you achieve a well-proportioned upper body and supports overall functional fitness. In the subsequent sections, we will explore joint exercises for these muscle groups and guide them in structuring a pull-day workout routine.

Designing an Effective Pull Day Workout Routine

Pull Day Workout Routine

Creating a well-structured pull-day workout routine is essential to maximize the benefits and avoid overtraining or injury.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you design an effective pull-day workout:

1. Warm-Up and Mobility Exercises:

Begin your pull-day workout with a dynamic warm-up to increase blood flow and prepare your muscles for action.

Incorporate mobility exercises to improve joint flexibility, especially in the shoulders, wrists, and spine.

Sample warm-up exercises: arm circles, shoulder rolls, wrist circles, and spinal twists.

2. Exercise Selection and Variation:

Choose a variety of exercises that target the back, biceps, and rear shoulder muscles.

Include compound exercises (those that work for multiple muscle groups) and isolation exercises (those that focus on a specific muscle).

Rotate exercises regularly to prevent plateaus and keep your workouts engaging.

Sample exercises: pull-ups, bent-over rows, lat pulldowns, bicep curls, and face pulls.

3. Structuring Sets and Repetitions:

Determine the number of sets and repetitions based on your fitness level and goals.

Opt for 3-5 sets of 6-12 repetitions per exercise for strength and muscle building.

Ensure you use a weight or resistance level that challenges you but allows you to maintain proper form.

4. Progressive Overload:

To continually make gains, gradually increase the weight or resistance as your strength improves.

Focus on progressive overload by increasing the weight, adding more repetitions, or reducing rest periods between sets.

5. Rest Periods:

Allow sufficient rest between sets to recover and maintain performance. Rest for 1-2 minutes between sets.

Shorten rest periods for a more intense workout or lengthen them for recovery-focused sessions.

6. Cool-Down and Stretching:

After completing your workout, perform static stretching exercises to increase flexibility and reduce muscle soreness.

Focus on stretching the muscles worked during the pull day routine, especially the shoulders, back, and biceps.

Hold each stretch for 15-30 seconds and perform 2-3 stretches for each muscle group.

7. Hydration and Nutrition:

Stay hydrated throughout your workout to maintain performance and recovery.

Consume a balanced meal or post-workout snack with protein and carbohydrates to replenish energy and support muscle recovery.

8. Tracking Progress:

Keep a workout journal or use a fitness app to track your exercises, sets, reps, and weights.

Regularly assess your progress and adjust your routine to meet your fitness goals.

Remember that the key to an effective pull-day workout routine is consistency. By following these guidelines and gradually increasing the intensity of your workouts, you’ll build strength, develop a well-balanced upper body, and reap the many benefits of pull-day exercises.

Sample Pull Day Workout Routine

Sample Pull Day Workout

Here’s a sample pull-day workout routine designed to target the back, biceps, and rear shoulder muscles.

This routine is suitable for intermediate-level individuals. Adjust the weight and repetitions based on your fitness level and goals.

Always warm up before starting and cool down/stretch after completing your workout.

Warm-Up (5-10 minutes)

Arm circles: 2 sets of 30 seconds each

Shoulder rolls: 2 sets of 30 seconds each

Wrist circles: 2 sets of 30 seconds each

Spinal twists: 2 sets of 30 seconds each

Exercise 1: Cable Curls

Cable curls are similar to regular dumbbell curls in targeting your biceps. The main difference is that you use a cable machine instead of dumbbells.

By using cables, you can hit it from a different angle. Many people like adding at least one cable exercise in their pull workout for biceps.

How to do Cable Curls:

1. Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart.

2. Grip the cable with your palms facing away from you and your hands shoulder-width apart.

3. Keeping your elbows close to your sides, curl the cable up to your shoulders.

4. Lower the cable back down to the starting position and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

5. We recommend using an individual attachment to isolate your bicep muscles specifically.

Exercise 2: Pull-Ups (3 sets x 8 reps)

The pull-up is one of the most effective exercises for building a thick, broad back. A lot of lifters start their pull workout off with this crucial movement.

The movement requires the muscles of the back and arms to work together to move the body upwards.

If you can’t do pull-ups, try finding a pull-up assist machine or use a band to make the movement lighter.

How to do Pull Ups:

1. Start by gripping a pull-up bar with your knuckles facing towards your face and your arms fully extended.

2. Bend your knees and cross your feet behind you.

3. Pull yourself up until your chin is above the bar.

4. Lower yourself back into the starting posture.

5. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Make sure to extend your arms for an optimal range of motion fully. If you can do more than 12 repetitions, add weight by wearing a weight belt or holding a dumbbell between your feet.

Exercise 3: Bent-Over Rows (4 sets x 10 reps)

Use a barbell or dumbbell.

Maintain a flat back and engage your core during the exercise.

Exercise 4: Back Extensions:

Back extensions are yet another straightforward yet very effective back exercise. In this case, you will train the lower back, specifically the erector spinae.

Back extensions work fantastically. However, most people get this wrong, so pay attention to its proper form to hit the erector spinae.

Most people perform hip extensions, which aren’t bad; they just won’t train the erector spinae how we want.

How to do Back Extensions:

1. Set up a back extension machine so the thigh pad is at your hip joint or slightly lower. Don’t have it too low, or you will recruit your hamstrings.

2. Keeping a straight back, lean forward, and drop your torso. Your torso should flex or curl as it moves around the pad. This invokes actual hip flexion and extension.

3. Once you hit the bottom, extend your back until it’s straight again.

Exercise 5: Lat Pulldowns (3 sets x 12 reps)

Lat pulldowns are an excellent exercise for targeting your latissimus dorsi, or lats, which are the muscles on the sides of your back.

The lats are what give you that V taper. We highly recommend adding lat pulldowns to your routine to build a solid, detailed back.

How to do Lat Pulldowns:

1. Start by sitting on a lat pulldown machine with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.

2. Reach up and grab the bar with your palms facing away from you and your hands shoulder-width apart.

3. Pull the bar to your chest, keeping your back straight and elbows in.

4. Slowly return the bar and repeat the motion for the desired number of repetitions.

5. stretch your arms at the top to activate the lats optimally. Go all the way down to your upper chest and repeat.

Exercise 6: Bicep Curls (3 sets x 12 reps)

Use dumbbells or a barbell.

Keep your elbows close to your body, and avoid swinging.

Exercise 7: Face Pulls (3 sets x 15 reps):

Cable face pulls are a good way of targeting your rear deltoids, which are the back sections of your shoulder muscles.

It’s also good to know that face pulls are a great way of improving your posture. It’s recommended to add these in at the end of your workout.

How to do Face Pulls:

1. Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart and your knees slightly bent.

2. Grip the cable with your palms facing away from you and your hands shoulder-width apart.

3. Pull the cable towards your face, keeping your elbows close to your sides.

4. Slowly return the cable to the starting position and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

5. If you’re having trouble keeping your arms straight, use a lighter weight.

Exercise 8: Arm Curls

Arm curls are plentiful, and we don’t like picking just one. We certainly don’t think you should limit yourself to standard bicep curls.

When we look at our arm training, we often mix it up. Here are some of our favorite arm curls you can cycle through.

  • Spider curls
  • Drag curls
  • EZ-Bar Curls
  • Hammer Curls (Rope)
  • Incline Curls
  • Preacher Curls

Exercise 9: Deadlifts

While deadlifts are a compound exercise primarily known for working the lower back, they also engage the lats, traps, and biceps as secondary muscles.

Deadlifts help build strength and are an excellent addition to any pull-day routine.

How to do the Deadlift:

1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and the bar over your mid-foot. Grab the bar outside your shins with an overhand grip.

2. Sink your hips and keep your shoulders pulled back with your arms straight down and your shins. Keep your back straight and pull back your shoulders. Your hips should be above your knees and below your shoulders.

3. Start by pushing your feet into the ground to propel your body upward. As the bar hits your knees, you extend your hips to complete the movement.

4. Always keep the bar on your body and aim to maintain a vertical bar path.

Exercise 10: Barbell Row

The barbell or bent-over row is another classic back exercise with a barbell. It primarily works your lats, trapezius, rear deltoids, and secondarily, your biceps, lower back, and grip.

The bent-over barbell row works many of the antagonists of the bench press exercise. It is helpful for evening out the strength and muscle balance across your upper body.

Avoid swinging and using excessive momentum to work your upper back muscles properly, as that will shift the work to your glutes and lower back.

How to do Barbell Rows:

1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and grip the bar overhand.

2. Lean forward with the bar hanging from straight arms.

3. Inhale and pull the bar towards you.

4. Pull the bar as high as possible so that it touches your abs or chest. With control, lower the bar back to the starting position.

Exercise 11: Barbell Biceps Curls

No pull-day workout would be complete without a few barbell bicep curls. Curls are one of the most well-known and staple exercises for biceps growth.

There are a lot of different curl variations, but we prefer to use a barbell, though. They help you focus on both arms simultaneously and develop perfect form and technique.

How to do Barbell Biceps Curls:

1. Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart.

2. Grab a barbell with your palms facing your thighs.

3. Lift the barbell towards your shoulders With your elbows tucked into your sides.

4. Lower the weights back down to the starting position and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

5. If you don’t like using barbells, you can use dumbbells to work your biceps individually

Cool-Down and Stretching (5-10 minutes):

Standing shoulder stretch: 2 sets of 30 seconds for each arm.

Standing bicep stretch: 2 sets of 30 seconds for each arm.

Cat-cow stretch: 2 sets of 30 seconds.

Seated spinal twist: 2 sets of 30 seconds on each side.

Hydration and Nutrition

Drink water throughout your workout.

Consume a balanced post-workout meal with protein and carbohydrates.


  • Start with a weight that challenges you but allows you to correctly complete the recommended sets and reps.
  • Gradually increase the weight or repetitions as your strength improves.
  • Rest for 1-2 minutes between sets unless specified otherwise.
  • If you’re new to these exercises or have any existing injuries, consider consulting a fitness professional for guidance and modifications.

This sample pull-day workout routine provides a balanced approach to strengthen your upper body and promote muscle development. Remember to tailor your routine to your fitness goals and listen to your body to ensure safe and effective workouts.

People Also Ask (FAQ)

Question 1. What is a Pull Day Workout?

Answer: A pull-day workout is a fitness routine focused on exercises that engage the muscles in pulling movements, primarily targeting the back, biceps, and rear shoulders. It complements push-day workouts, promoting balanced muscle development and functional strength. Incorporating pull-day workouts enhances posture, reduces the risk of injury, and diversifies your fitness regimen.

Question 2. What is the Best Exercise for Pull Day?

Answer: The pull-up is the best exercise for pull day, as it engages multiple upper body muscles, including the lats, biceps, and rear shoulders, in a single movement. Pull-ups offer versatility with various grip styles, making them suitable for all fitness levels and goals. Incorporating pull-ups into your routine promotes overall upper-body strength and muscle development.

Question 3. Are 4 Exercises Enough for Pull-Day?

Answer: Four exercises can be sufficient for a full day, depending on your goals and intensity. Including compound movements like pull-ups, rows, lat pulldowns, and isolation exercises can provide a well-rounded workout. Adjust the number of exercises based on your fitness level and the desired muscle engagement and variety level.

Question 4. How many Exercises are in a Pull Day?

Answer: The number of exercises in a pull day can vary, but a typical workout includes 4-6 exercises. This allows you to effectively target the back, biceps, and rear shoulder muscles, ensuring a balanced and productive workout. Adjust the exercises and intensity based on your fitness level and goals.

Question 5. Are 3 Exercises Enough for Pull Day?

Answer: Three exercises can be sufficient for a full day if they are well-chosen compound movements that target the major muscle groups involved in pulling. However, the number of exercises should align with your fitness level and training goals, with room for progressive overload and muscle engagement. Customizing your pull day routine is key to achieving desired results.

Question 6. Is Bicep Push or Pull?

Answer: The biceps are primarily considered a pulling muscle. They are heavily engaged during pulling exercises like pull-ups, rows, and curls, where you bend your elbows to lift or pull weight toward your body. While they assist in some pushing motions, their primary role is in pulling movements.


In conclusion, pull-day workouts are a fundamental component of a well-rounded fitness routine. By incorporating exercises that target the pulling muscles, including the back, biceps, and rear shoulder muscles, you can achieve numerous benefits, such as improved posture, balanced muscle development, reduced risk of injury, enhanced functional strength, and variety in your fitness regimen.

Some of the best pull exercises for targeting these muscles, along with how they are done, include:

1. Pull-Ups: Hang from a bar with an overhand grip, shoulder-width apart. Pull your body upward until your chin clears the bar, then lower yourself back down with control.

2. Bent-Over Rows: Hold a barbell or dumbbell, hinge at the hips, and bend your knees slightly. Keep your back flat as you pull the weight towards your lower ribcage.

3. Lat Pulldowns: Sit at a lat pulldown machine, grasp the bar wider than shoulder-width, and pull it down towards your chest, focusing on the contraction of your lats.

4. Face Pulls: Attach a rope to a cable machine at chest height and pull the rope towards your face while squeezing your rear shoulder muscles.

5. Bicep Curls: Hold dumbbells or a barbell with your palms facing forward, and curl the weight towards your chest while keeping your elbows stationary.

6. Chin-Ups: Similar to pull-ups but with an underhand grip, emphasizing the biceps.

7. Single-Arm Dumbbell Rows: Place one knee and hand on a bench for support, then row a dumbbell with the opposite hand towards your hip.

8. Inverted Rows: Set up a bar or suspension trainer at waist height, lie underneath, and pull your chest up to the bar, engaging your back and biceps.

9. Deadlifts: With a barbell on the ground, bend at your hips and knees, grip the bar, and lift it while keeping your back straight.

10. Kettlebell Swings: Hold a kettlebell with both hands, hinge at the hips, and swing it upward to shoulder height using the power of your hips and glutes.

By incorporating these exercises into your pull-day routine with proper form and gradually increasing intensity, you can achieve a well-balanced upper body and enhance your overall fitness.

Remember to tailor your workout to your fitness level and goals, and always prioritize safety and consistency in your training. With dedication and perseverance, you can reap the many benefits of a well-executed pull-day workout.


This article is purposive for intended general information and does not mark individual circumstances. It is not an alternative to professional advice or help. It should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. A licensed physician must be consulted to diagnose and treat any medical condition. Any action you take due to the information on this page is entirely at your own risk and responsibility!

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Rishi Govind is a nutritionist and nutrition counselor in New Delhi, India. He is a Postgraduate and passionate about his work. Rishi has over 3 years of experience helping people change their relationship with food and their bodies. He specializes in helping people with chronic dieting issues, food allergies and sensitivities, and digestive problems. Rishi's approach is rooted in the belief that everybody is unique and deserves individualized attention. Rishi is passionate about helping his clients feel their best. He is committed to helping them find peace with food and their bodies so they can live their lives to the fullest.

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