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Are you someone who cannot shake the feeling of hitting pull-up exercises but lack the strength? Do you have a tough time finding easy and effective pull-up alternatives at home? Do not worry because you’ve stopped by the right place! This article will discuss the pull-up alternatives that will rescue you from the void of pull-up exercises in your workout routine. Indeed pull-ups are among the best and easiest workouts to put back muscles to work. It is so because pull-ups target multiple back muscles in one go with intensity. But, the amount of strength pull-ups and negative pull-ups demand is quite enormous! Along with strength, you also need some form of gym motivation to raise that bar high!
If you want to add a pull-up workout to your fitness routine but don’t want to lift a heavy bar, we’ve got news for you. Fortunately, there are several pull-up alternatives you can give a shot, especially if you are into learning about chin-up vs. pull-up. So, it’s time to train your back muscles with hassle-free pull-up alternatives. They offer a great deal of muscle activation, close to traditional pull-ups. In addition, you can easily perform these pull-up alternatives at home as they do not necessarily require much equipment like a pull-up bar. However, before exploring the various options of pull-up alternative exercises, let us first understand what pull-up alternatives are and why you actually need them in your workout routine.
What Are Pull-Ups Alternative Exercises, And Why Do You Need Them?
People who do not go to the gym but strive for fitness with home workouts, such as bodyweight workouts, need some pull movements to complete muscle training. Of course, pull-up alternative exercises add to the pull-up count if you already have pull movements in your workout routine, but they mainly add strength to the back and the upper body. Not only this, if you hit pull-up alternatives at home, you are boosting the efficacy of the lat exercises or the tricep workouts you are performing daily.
Wait, that’s not all to pull up alternative workouts! They also provide you that beasty grip strength that you also obtain from big bicep workouts or brachialis workouts. If you do not know, recent studies show that grip strength is a significant indicator of health and fitness levels. Also, if you clutch at pull-up alternative at home instead of the usual bar pull-ups, you do not have to worry much about the underhand or overhead grip fuss. So, if you do not have access to a pull-up bar or you wish to strengthen your grip and hit multiple back muscles with one form of workout, pull-up alternative exercises are the way to go for you! Following are the particular target muscles pull up alternative exercises train, and tone-
- Lateral muscles (Latissimus Dorsi)- back
- Trapezius and rhomboids- upper back
- Biceps, triceps, and forearms- arms
- Abdominal muscles- stomach
The Top Pull Up Alternative Exercises
We know that pull-up alternatives are an excellent way to achieve a chiseled upper body, but understand that if you do pull-up alternatives at home, you cannot get the exact same results as that of the traditional pull-up bar exercises. This is so because the pull-up alternative exercises do not train the same muscle groups. If you wish to add pull-up alternatives at home in your upper lower split routine or beginner’s workout routine, club these exercises to derive optimum muscle activation and growth. So, gear up for pull-up with these most effective pull-up alternative exercises!-
1. Bodyweight Rows
It is not surprising that pull-up bodyweight rows are one of the best row exercises with variations. People aiming to expand their pull-up count combine rowing with scapular stabilizing workouts such as shoulder workouts. Pull-up rows make an excellent pull-up alternative exercise and a decent point to start the pull movements in the workout routine. Although muscle activation and growth are nearly guaranteed in this workout, just make sure whatever tool you’re using to perform this pull-up alternative at home is strong and sturdy to bear your weight. You can do pull-up bodyweight rows with a sturdy table, a low solid bar, a resistance band, a dumbbell, or even a towel!
Follow the below-given instructions to execute bodyweight rows as a pull-up alternative–
- Lie under a sturdy table, then hold the top of the table with both hands from the end of its slab. Keep your ankles on the floor when you are under the table so that you form a diagonal line with your body. Now, pull up till your chest almost touches the table, then lower down to the initial position. This pull-up alternative employs lateral muscles primarily.
- If you do not have a big solid table or wish to perform this pull-up alternative with another prop, use a towel or a resistance band. You simply have to throw the towel or the resistance band over a door and then close it so that the prop gets adequately stuck. Then, grab the ends of the towel or the resistance bands till your hands get straight and the body is diagonal. Lean back to attain this position correctly. The major muscles at work are lateral muscles with a focus on the biceps and shoulders.
- Another great option for a pull-up alternative is dumbbell row. It provides incredible muscle activation to the shoulder, biceps, and triceps. All you have to do is keep one hand and knee on any solid raised platform. Then, take a dumbbell in another hand and row with the palm facing you and elbow at a 90-degree angle. It extensively hits the core back muscles.
2. Kneeling Lat Pulldowns
This magical pull-up alternative nearly offers the same resistance and training that you get with the lat pulldown machine. Not everyone has access to the gym machines to put the lat and bicep muscles at work optimally. Kneeling lat pulldowns here take entry as a savior for all those aspirants wanting to do a pull-up alternative at home. The only equipment you require is an all-time versatile and lightweight resistance band. If you wish to add more resistance, just simply add more bands or use new ones.
Observe these simple steps to perform kneeling lat pulldowns at home-
- Attach the resistance band to an anchor point and then hold its ends firmly. Your palms should be upwards, facing opposite to you. With hands overhead, get down on your knees and extend the resistance band with both hands.
- Pull the band till your shoulders and then again up. Repeat this movement 12-15 times.
3. Seated Overhead Dumbbell Press
This pull-up alternative is a lot similar to the kneeling lat pulldowns. The stark difference is the liberty for extra weight addition provided by the seated overhead dumbbell press. The muscle exhaustion you get with this workout is enough for growth and strength building in the lats. What’s more? You can even perform a seated overhead dumbbell press while performing lunges. Unlike many pull-up alternative exercises, this one is uncomplicated, where you do not need much setup, just dumbbells, and some serious motivation!
Follow these straightforward steps to execute the overhead dumbbell press-
- Stretch both your arms holding a dumbbell in each. Then bend your elbows at an angle of 90 degrees, with the arms upright in this position snake that your palms are facing outwards.
- Once you are all set to start, stretch your arms up and raise the dumbbells as high as possible. Remember, when you lift the weights, your shoulders should be slightly inclined forward and not pushed back. This is a crucial tip to keep in mind as avoiding it may cause serious injury.
- Slowly lower the weights at the initial point. Then, repeat the same process 8-10 times.
4. Back Bridge Pull-Ups
Forming a bridge for a back workout is effective as well as aesthetically pleasing! But wait, this is not limited to the back but activates almost the entire body. The best part is that this pull-up alternative does not require any equipment. It is terrific to improve the posture along with bringing the hamstrings and glutes on the move! You may not get it right in the first go, but the constant effort and dedication will definitely make you achieve it. So, build solid upper back muscles with this underrated pull-up alternative exercise just by using the floor!
Go through these instructions to perform back bridge pull-ups-
- Lie down with your feet flat on the floor and then curl your palms, putting them on the floor. Now, bend the knees and gradually lift your entire body up except the head, with the effort of arms and shoulder muscles.
- Once you attain a certain level of flexibility and strength, pull the entire body except for feet and palms. After holding onto this position for a few seconds, get back to the first step, and repeat after a few seconds of rest.
5. Kettlebell Swings
The pull-up alternative that provides the best of the compound muscle exhaustion with being extremely straightforward is kettlebell swings. As it works on the upper body, the key focus in this workout is on the posterior chain. The swings allow you to build momentum that adds to the strength and muscle building. And that’s not it; this pull-up alternative has good news for people following a meal plan for weight loss and muscle gain. Kettlebell swings ramp up the pace of shedding stubborn fats and sculpts your body.
Follow these directions to perform kettlebell swings properly-
- With the kettlebell between the legs on the ground, stand firm on the ground. Now, bend your knees a little and hinge at your hips. Now, pull the kettlebell by its handle and swing it back and forth between your legs for some momentum.
- Then gradually swing it up till it reaches your shoulders. Keep your arms straight for a few seconds, and then drop the kettlebell. Repeat this pull-up alternative a few times each time you drop the kettlebell.
Let’s Sum Up!
Be it the inability to hit the gym or unsecured strength-building fitness goals, these uncomplicated pull-up alternative exercises will serve your bodybuilding ideals without much equipment or complex technique to execute. All you have to do is maintain consistency and keep up the form to avoid injury. Then, with a strong upper body, you can perform the other workouts effortlessly. Therefore, try these pull-up alternatives at home and experience an amazing and holistic workout. Once you rack up your gains and enhance your pull-up count, do let us know your experience with these pull-up alternatives!