Pull day workouts typically focus on exercises like rows, pull-ups (or pulldowns) and curls. These types of exercises are used by lifters of all skill levels and help to build a strong, muscular back, biceps and rear delts. A pull day workout is often programmed as part of a push/pull/legs training split, such as a PPL or BPSL training split and is suitable for anyone who’s moved past the beginner stages of training and wants to beef up their muscles.
The best pull day workouts will combine a number of compound movements that target multiple muscles at once, such as the deadlift or bent-over row, with some isolation exercises that are heavy on one muscle group. Compound movements are designed to stimulate all the muscles involved in the movement, which is important for increasing overall strength and muscle size. Isolation exercises, on the other hand, are heavier on one specific muscle group and can be more effective at targeting a particular area of the body. Examples of isolation exercises include biceps curls and the various curl variations such as the incline dumbbell curl and standing one-arm behind-the-back cable curl.
A good pull day workout will also include a number of warm-up exercises that will target the muscles to be trained. This helps to increase blood flow, flexibility and the mind-muscle connection. Warm-up exercises that are commonly used on pull days include arm circles, shoulder dislocations, bodyweight rows and thoracic rotations.
Once the warm-up is complete, a typical pull day workout will begin with some barbell and dumbbell rows to start stimulating the bigger back muscles in the early phases of the workout. This is followed by a set or two of curls to work the biceps, which should be taken close to muscle failure – the point at which you can’t complete another rep despite giving maximum effort.
The workout will then usually finish off with some sort of back hyperextension exercise to train the erector spinae muscles. These muscles are the spinal stabilizers and a weaker version of these muscles can lead to serious lower back injuries. Back hyperextensions are usually performed in a bodyweight format alongside a hyperextension machine and are relatively low-impact on the spine.
As such, it’s a sensible choice for the last exercise of a pull day workout and can be a very effective way to end your session.
Milena Estêvão is a YouTuber passionate about sharing her experiences (challenges, successes and motivations) in the fitness activities she is involved in.
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