Ultimate Pull Day Workout: Are you looking to build muscle and strength in your back, biceps, and other upper body-pulling muscles? An adequately designed pull-day workout is key to developing a ripped, muscular physique. This guide will provide the best pull-day exercises and workout routines to maximize muscle growth.
Building muscle requires challenging your muscles with progressive overload through strength training. A good Ultimate Pull Day Workout trains all the major muscle groups of the upper back, like the lats, rhomboids, and rear delts, and also hits the biceps and forearms. Structuring your push-pull workout with the right exercises and proper form leads to tremendous gains in size and strength.
In this article, we will look at:
- Why a dedicated pull day is important
- Muscle groups worked on pull-day
- Top pull-day exercises for each muscle group
- Setting up an effective pull workout routine
- Pull workout tips for maximum results.
- Sample pull-day workout plan
Table of contents
Why Train Pull Muscles on Their Day?
Most experts recommend following a push/pull/legs training split when working out. A designated pull workout day is crucial for building up your backside muscles to balance out the front side muscles worked on push days.
An Ultimate Pull Day workout involves retracting the shoulder blades and pulling weights toward your upper body. This engages all the back muscles from the lats, traps, and rhomboids to the rear delts. A proper pull workout counters all the pressing and shoulder work done on push days to prevent muscle imbalances that can lead to poor posture and injury.
Pulling motions also engage the biceps muscles, which need focused training to grow in size and strength. Putting all your upper back and biceps exercises on their pull training day allows you to give these muscle groups maximum focus and effort.
Muscle Groups Targeted on Pull Day
The main muscle groups worked on the pull day include:
- Lats – The broad latissimus dorsi muscles of the upper back are engaged during push-pull workouts like pullups, pulldowns, and rows. Broader lat muscles create that coveted V-taper.
- Traps – Shrugging motions isolate the trapezius muscles of the mid back and neck area. Building bigger traps gives your upper back that yoked look.
- Rhomboids – Exercises like seated cable rows target the rhomboid muscles, which run across the upper back between the shoulder blades.
- Rear Delts – Face pulls, and dumbbell rows work the posterior deltoid muscles at the back of the shoulders for superb definition.
- Biceps – Curls performed on pull day will produce a great biceps pump. Powerlifts like deadlifts also engage the biceps hard.
- Forearms – Ultimate Pull Day Workouts like deadlifts, barbell holds, and farmer walks activate the forearm flexor muscles to strengthen grip.
The Best Pull Exercises for Maximum Muscle Growth
Here are the top compound and isolation exercises to include in your back and bicep workout routine:
Compound Pull Exercises
- Deadlifts – Deadlifts target the entire backside from the last to the lower back while building tremendous strength. Use double overhands or mixed grips and focus on good form.
- Bent Over Rows – Bent over barbell rows are some of the best backbuilders. Row the barbell to your lower chest, squeezing your shoulder blades.
- Pull-ups – Pull-ups engage the lats, biceps, and upper back hard. Use chest-to-bar pull-ups for a full range of motion. Use assistance bands if needed.
- Lat Pulldowns – Seated lat pulldowns recruit the lats vigorously as you pull the straight or curved bar attachment down to your chest.
- Dumbbell Curls – Seated dumbbell curls isolate the biceps muscle with peak contraction at the top of the movement. Use both arms simultaneously and alternate.
- Face Pulls – The cable face pull hits the rear delts with constant tension. Squeeze and hold at peak contraction.
- Cable Rows – Seated cable rows target mid-back rhomboids. Use close or wide grips. Lean forward slightly for better contraction.
- Dumbbell Shrugs – Shrugging heavy dumbbells straight up fully engages the traps. Hold the top contracted position briefly.
Structuring Your Pull Workout Routine
When programming your pull workout, properly structure your training session to safely work the upper back, biceps, and forearms through their full range of motion. Here are some critical guidelines for optimal pull workout structure:
- Perform large compound movements first when your muscles are fresh. Start with either deadlifts or pull-ups/pulldowns, depending on your focus.
- Follow compounds with isolation exercises like rows, curls, and face pulls for more targeted muscle work.
- Use primarily free weights like barbells and dumbbells to maximize resistance through movement. Add in some cables and machines for additional variety.
- Train opposing muscle groups in a superset like bicep curls and tricep press downs to save time.
- Include forearm work like dumbbell holds or wrist curls at the end of your workout.
- Keep rest periods short, around 60-90 seconds between sets, to keep intensity high.
Pull Workout Tips
Here are some essential techniques and form pointers for the best results from your Ultimate Pull Day Workout:
- Use a shoulder-width grip or slightly wider on pulling exercises. Keep elbows tucked throughout the movement.
- Squeeze your shoulder blades together hard at peak contraction during rows or pulldowns.
- On curls, avoid swinging the weight. Keep elbows tight and go through the full range of motion.
- Arch your back and push your hips back to load your hamstrings and glutes when deadlifting.
- Slow down the eccentric lowering phase and explosively lift the weight.
- Keep your core braced and avoid rounding your lower back on any pull exercise.
- Focus on feeling the working muscle by pausing at peak contraction for 1-2 seconds.
- When doing straight sets, only rest for 1-2 minutes between sets of the same exercise.
Pull Workout Sample Routine
Here is a sample pull day workout that hits all the major upper back muscle groups for a complete pull session:
- Deadlifts – 3 sets x 5 reps
- Lat Pulldowns – 3 sets x 8-10 reps
- Seated Cable Rows – 3 sets x 10-12 reps
- Face Pulls – 3 sets x 12-15 reps
- Dumbbell Curls – 3 sets x 10-12 reps
- Dumbbell Shrugs – 2 sets x 12 reps
- Pull Ups – 3 sets x 6-8 reps
- Single Arm Dumbbell Rows – 3 sets x 8-10 reps per arm
- Incline Dumbbell Curls – 3 sets x 10-12 reps
- Straight Arm Pulldowns – 3 sets x 12-15 reps
- Barbell Bicep Curls – 2 sets x 12 reps
- Barbell Holds – 3 sets x 20-30 sec
Perform this Ultimate Pull Day Workout 1-2 times weekly, with at least a day of rest between sessions for optimal muscle recovery. Make sure you are also working your lower body and pressing muscles sufficiently.
An adequately structured pull-day workout is vital for muscular upper back and arm development. Follow these pull workout tips to maximize your strength and size gains:
- Train back, biceps, and forearm muscles with focused intensity on pull day.
- Use large compound lifts plus isolation exercises for balanced development.
- Focus on engaging the target muscles with a good mind-muscle connection.
- Progress in load, volume, or reps over time to force adaptation
- Allow for sufficient rest between pull training for optimal recovery
Aim to fatigue the muscles with challenging but safe workouts. Be consistent with your Ultimate Pull Day Workout schedule and techniques. Along with good nutrition, you will see excellent muscle growth and strength increases over time.
The best exercise for pull day is the deadlift, as it engages the entire posterior chain, including the back, glutes, and hamstrings.
A pull day focuses on the back, biceps, and other upper-body pulling muscles, training them with compound and isolation movements to maximize muscle growth.
A good pull-day exercise order is to do big compound pulls first, then isolation exercises, training from the largest to most minor muscle groups.
Aim for 2-4 focused exercises per muscle group on pull day for optimal volume to stimulate growth.
It’s optional to add 1-2 ab exercises at the end of the pull day for core work, but it’s not completely necessary.