Skip to main content

These are all the reasons you should be doing more pull-ups

The top 8 benefits of pull-ups and why they are crucial

There are many ways to measure your capabilities when it comes to fitness, and pull-ups are the perfect example of an exercise that can be used as a benchmark. Whether you want to work on improving your physique, getting stronger, or simply want to reach a certain number of reps, no one can deny the many benefits of pull-ups.

Moreover, putting in the work to learn how to properly do a pull-up and building the upper body and back strength you need to do them is worth it—not only is it satisfying to check the goal off your list, but the benefits of pull-ups make them one of the most efficient and effective strengthening exercises to add to your routine to boost your overall fitness and strengthen and sculpt your body. Plus, a wide and strong back is an easy way to attract that certain someone you hope to impress.

Need a little motivation to step up to the pull-up bar and give them a go? Check out some of the benefits of pull-ups and a few tips to get started.

Benefits of pull-ups

Man performing a pull up.

The benefits of pull-ups span the gamut from increasing muscular strength and overall fitness to boosting confidence. Here are the top benefits of pull-ups.

1. Pull-ups strengthen your back

Pull-ups are one of the most effective back-strengthening exercises. While many guys tend to focus on the muscles in the front of the body—abs, chest, biceps, and shoulders, working the back of the body is equally important to keep the body balanced, prevent injuries, and improve overall functional strength. Pull-ups strengthen the latissimus dorsi, trapezius, erector spinae in the thoracic region, levator scapulae, and infraspinatus.

2. Pull-ups strengthen your chest, shoulders, arms, and core

In addition to working your back, pull-ups strengthen and sculpt your shoulders, forearms, and chest (pecs). When properly performed, they also engage your abs, including your deep transverse abdominis, making them a great exercise for targeting many of the major muscles in the body. Regularly performing pull-ups can also improve muscle tone and definition when coupled with a healthy diet and total-body exercise program.

Strong man doing pull-ups.

3. Pull-ups improve grip strength

Grip strength assists in everything from opening a jar to using a reciprocating saw or hedge trimmer. It’s also valuable for racquet sports, climbing, and lifting heavy weights. Pull-ups are one of the best exercises to strengthen your hands and grip.

You may find some of this benefit translates to being able to lift more weight or complete additional reps in other resistance exercises, as grip strength is often a limiting factor at the top end of sets unless you specifically train your hands to develop more grip strength. Master your pull-up and watch what it can do for your deadlift numbers, too.

4. Pull-ups can improve bone density

Resistance training exercises have been shown to increase bone density because it loads the bones, signaling them to lay down more cellular and mineral components for the bony matrix. Additionally, stronger muscles pull more forcefully on the bones when they contract, which also signals your body to deposit more minerals and strengthen the structure of your bones.

5. Pull-ups can improve markers of health

Studies have found that resistance training exercises like pull-ups can improve various markers of health. For example, regular strength training can reduce blood pressure, lower visceral fat and waist circumference, improve blood sugar control and insulin sensitivity, reduce cholesterol and blood lipids, and improve body composition.

A strength training program incorporating pull-ups and other exercises for total-body conditioning may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, and obesity.

Outdoor pull-ups.

6. Pull-ups don’t require much equipment

Besides a good pull-up bar, you don’t need anything to do pull-ups. Many strength training exercises require bulky or heavy weights and can’t be done on the go. You can even do pull-ups out in nature using sturdy tree limbs or in parks or playgrounds on playground equipment.

7. Pull-ups can improve your mood

Resistance training exercises, such as pull-ups, have been found to be an effective way to reduce stress and anxiety and improve mood. Like aerobic or cardio training, strength training can reduce cortisol and produce endorphins, which means that taking on pull-ups and other resistance exercises at the gym can leave you in a better headspace post-workout.

8. Pull-ups are challenging

One of the driving forces that keep us pushing ourselves in the gym is the desire to take on challenges and achieve goals. Being able to step up to a pull-up bar—or tree limb or monkey bar set on the playground with your kids—and bang out a set of perfect pull-ups is a thing of pride.

It can help you feel confident, strong, capable, and fit—the importance of which should not be overlooked. If you’ve ever felt your motivation lacking in the gym lately, and you have yet to be able to do a real pull-up, set the goal, and get training. You may just find a renewed sense of determination when tackling your workouts.

Back to the basics


Sometimes, simpler is better. You don’t need anything other than a sturdy and stable object to grab a hold of and start blasting your back. A couple of reps in, you’ll see why the basics work the best!

Editors' Recommendations

Amber Sayer
Amber Sayer is a fitness, nutrition, and wellness writer and editor, and was previously a Fitness Editor at Byrdie. She…
5 effective cable workouts to help you get those boulder shoulders
Five cable exercises that are sure to help you grow and strengthen your shoulders
man doing cable exercise.

If you're looking to build some serious shoulder muscles, cable shoulder workouts are an excellent place to start. Cable exercises provide constant tension throughout the movement, which can help stimulate muscle growth and increase strength. They make a great addition to your shoulder workout!
Anatomy of the shoulders

Before we dive into the benefits of cable shoulder workouts, it's essential to understand the anatomy of the shoulders. The deltoid is a large, triangular muscle that covers the shoulder joint and is divided into three distinct heads: The anterior, lateral, and posterior deltoids.

Read more
The TikTok trend of eating oranges in the shower sounds dumb, but you should do it anyway
Eating citrus and not worrying about the mess? Sign us up!
Orange sliced in half by knife on cutting board.

TikTokers have a way of making certain trends go viral — whether they are life hacks we never knew we needed, tips on the most popular dances, or fun food trends — there is never a shortage of options to view. Recently, a trend of eating oranges (yum) whilst in the shower (um...ok?) has been showing up in everyone's news feed, and for good reason. Some say it's the aromatics, others say it just makes you feel better, and still others say it's just the motivation they need in the morning. Bottom line: you can't go wrong adding oranges and showers to your daily routine, so why not combine them?
The benefits of eating oranges
Before we get to the shower bit, oranges are considered a nutritional gut-punch, packed with vitamins, minerals, and the kind of goodness not found in other small citrus. Vitamin C, a water-soluble antioxidant preventing cell damage, is the biggest reason to eat the little orange gems. Not only does vitamin C help with collagen and vessel formation, but it also helps fight inflammation, improves your immune system, and helps reduce blood pressure and stress. If eating an orange in the shower makes you feel better and gets you to eat a healthy fruit, then, overall, we think it’s a good idea.
But why eat them in the shower?
Besides the obvious smell factor, which helps you immediately relax and eliminate stress, TikTokers point out that eating any citrus in the shower means less mess that comes from its juices. That's right, no more washing your hands, chin, or any other body part, because you're in the shower. You are self-cleaning as you eat! Still, other TikTokers say it just makes the fruit taste better in general. It is a freeing experience to eat something messy while cleaning yourself at the same time.

Read more
4 effective fat-burning workouts to help you lose weight
Lose weight with these fantastic workouts
man doing fat-burning workout.

Burning fat and gaining muscle is a common goal among men, and knowing which are the best workouts to lose weight can speed the process up! Dropping weight can lead to you both looking and feeling better, in addition to reducing your risk for various diseases that sometimes accompany excessive body fat.
When paired with a nutritious, calorie-controlled diet, exercise is a highly effective way to lose weight and burn fat. A workout burns calories and can also impact your metabolic rate. However, when it comes to fat burning workouts and weight loss, not all forms of exercise are created equal. Certain workouts and exercises will help you torch calories and shift your metabolism into a fat-burning mode more than others, so if you have big weight loss goals, keep reading for a list of the best fat burning exercises and workouts.

How does exercise burn fat?

Read more