Horizontal Pull Ups



Pull-ups, chin-ups, and their many varieties are great upper-body strength and muscle builders. One of the least seen varieties is the horizontal pull-up (also called an “inverted pull-up” or “horizontal row”). Whatever name it goes by, it is a good one.



Vertical chinning is of course a super exercise. But horizontals bring into play abs and lower-back muscles, which must stay very tight to hold your body in a straight line as you pull with lats, rhomboids, biceps, and forearms. Further, all the equipment you need is a sturdy horizontal bar.

Here’s how horizontal pull-ups work: Go beneath the bar and, with palms facing your feet, grip the bar at slightly wider than shoulder width. Extend your legs and place your feet on a bench; straighten your body, keep it taut, and pull your chest to the bar. You may also do the movement using an underhand grip.

If you are a beginner or an older senior, and not ready for true horizontals, keep your feet on the floor; raise the bar so your body in the pull-up position is at 45 degrees or less. As you grow stronger, gradually lower the bar, working toward being horizontal.

Advanced trainees: For a rugged upper-body workout, try super-setting horizontal pull-ups with dive bomber pushups.


Return from Horizontal Pull Ups to Exercise Demonstrations.