Wide grip pull-ups

Wide grip pull-up on the horizontal bar is an exercise from gymnastics, which is multi-joint. It works on the muscles of the back, biceps and forearms. Those who pull themselves a lot have a wide back and a narrow waist. This movement is quite difficult for beginners and those whose weight is heavy. Representatives of light weight categories are pulled up with a load attached to the belt. You can pull up at any age, this is one of the first exercises in the general physical preparation of a child or teenager. The movement does not create a load on the spine, therefore it can be performed by persons with impaired posture. Contrary to popular belief, girls also have access to exercise, they just have to put a little more effort into the learning process.


  • 1 Exercise Technique
    • 1.1 Starting position
    • 1.2 Movement
    • 1.3 Recommendations
  • 2 Options
    • 2.1 Wide grip on the head
  • 3 Analysis of exercises
    • 3.1 Anatomy: which muscles work in exercise
    • 3.2 Benefits
    • 3.3 Disadvantages
  • 4 Preparation for exercise
  • 5 How to do it right
  • 6 Mistakes
  • 7 Performance Tips
  • 8 Inclusion in the program
  • 9 Contraindications

Exercise technique

Starting position

Wide grip pull-ups are performed on the horizontal bar or in the crossover. If it’s difficult to get to the crossbar, you can climb onto it with the help of a partner or support, or “from a jump”.

For bodybuilding, it is preferable to use the help of a partner or support in order to perfectly place your hands on the horizontal bar and develop muscles symmetrically.

For the starting position you need:

  • Hang on the horizontal bar with your upper wide grip, placing your hands at the same distance from the imaginary axis passing through the center of the body;
  • Use the top closed (not “monkey”) grip;
  • Fully extend your elbows;
  • If possible, relax the shoulder girdle so that the widest ones are in an extended position;
  • Bend in the back;
  • Legs can simply be straightened or crossed with the back


  • With a powerful exhalation, you need to perform a pull-up, that is, simultaneous bending of the arms at the elbows with their lowering, and movement of the chest to the crossbar;
  • It is imperative to bring the shoulder blades, and stretch your elbows to the sides, as when performing the traction of the upper block;
  • At the peak point, the rib cage should almost touch the crossbar, or stop almost at it;
  • Upstairs you need to linger for a few seconds and maximize the tension of the back muscles;
  • It should be lowered smoothly, not jerkily, gradually relaxing the muscles;
  • In the same technique, all planned approaches and repetitions are carried out.


  • The mistake is to try to start exclusively with the force of the biceps, on a relaxed back. It is difficult to pull up with a wide grip in this technique, and the goal of the exercise is not achieved, since in trying to pull with a wide grip, we are trying to work out not only the biceps, but the widest ones;
  • Do not pull too sharply, trying to hit the chest on the crossbar, and throw the body down. Kipping and butterfly do not develop back muscles to the extent that "strict" pull-ups with a wide grip;
  • Putting the chin on the crossbar is not only a technical mistake, but also a rather traumatic way to pull yourself up. To "set off" the repetition, just touching the chest with the crossbar.


  • Conscious stabilization of the hull is a reliable way to avoid kipping and the effect of the pendulum. Inertial movements increase the load on the ligamentous-articular apparatus, and remove it from the muscles. This can cause injury or an insufficiently pronounced result in terms of muscle pumping;
  • The starting position after each repetition must be fully accepted. The elbows are unbent, the shoulders relax, the back takes a position in which the assembly of the blades becomes possible;
  • It is not necessary to lead the elbows along the body in a straight path so as not to shift the load in the hands. This is not only a technical error, but also a more traumatic position for the shoulder

Execution Options

Wide grip on the head

This option is suitable for people with a good range of motion in the shoulders. It shifts the load on the rhomboid, trapezoid and round muscle of the shoulder. This pull-up builds a beautiful shoulder line in men, but is not recommended for those who have already encountered a rotator cuff injury.

Parsing exercise

Anatomy: which muscles work in exercise

Pulling up is a comprehensive basic exercise. The main emphasis of the load is assumed by the latissimus dorsi muscles. To build powerful "wings" with pull-ups with a wide grip is a fairly simple task.

Additionally, the exercise works:

  • The lower segment of the pectoralis major muscle;
  • Paired round muscles;
  • Forearms;
  • Biceps
  • Back deltas;
  • Trapezoid and diamond shaped


The movement allows you to not only build a muscle corset, but comprehensively develops strength indicators. It builds the base for all known strength exercises, allows you to improve results in strength sports, and helps get rid of problems with posture.

To perform pull-ups with a wide grip, you need the simplest inventory - a horizontal bar. He is in every room, on any platform and anywhere. Pulling allows you to build a truly wide and powerful back without the use of complex simulators. This is an exercise of the "old school" of bodybuilding, which is both power and functional.


Only strong enough people can pull up with a wide grip. For beginners, traffic is most often inaccessible. Those who are overweight will also have a hard time. Exercise requires concentration and training. It is difficult enough to execute it, just coming for the first time to the gym.

According to the electromyograph, this movement is not the most effective for the widest, although most athletes and coaches state the opposite. Exercise has to be combined with traction on a slope in order to build an impressive back.

Exercise Preparation

Pulling is often the first exercise in training the back for a beginner. Therefore, you have to start with a good overall workout. It includes aerobic activity, rotational movements in all joints in good amplitude, and if a person had injuries - a couple of easy approaches in a block simulator on his back.

For a healthy athlete, just hanging on the horizontal bar is enough. It is important to approach the exercise responsibly, and not to complete the first approach without joint warm-up.

How to do it right

  • The movement is due to the work of the broadest muscles of the back, activated by the simultaneous movement of both elbows down. This helps isolate a working muscle group, and avoid active traction with biceps;
  • The work of the elbows should be strictly in one trajectory, without kink, and any distortions and violations;
  • The shoulder blades need to be pulled to the spine in order to further include the back muscles, and to avoid overstrain of the cervical spine;
  • The correct distribution of inhalations and exhalations will help to avoid buildup and too soft backs. You can take a breath and hold it up while holding your breath. This will allow you to actively turn on the muscles, and avoid unnecessary movements;
  • During work, you need to fully return to the starting position, do not start the next repetition with slightly bent elbows, so as not to transfer the load to other muscle groups;
  • It is important not to allow the head of the shoulders to be “tilted” forward, so that when pulling the shoulder joint works in its natural amplitude


Technical errors in pulling up with a wide grip are varied. They include “small”, that is, a small amplitude, lift, and too much buildup of the body, and active shocks with legs. Any swings, inertial movements and attempts to somehow push the body to the crossbar, and not rise to it due to muscle strength, are considered violations of technology.

It is not recommended to pull up with a relaxed back, performing the main movement only with the strength of the hands - namely, the biceps. The pull-ups used in gymnastics and crossfit along the elliptical trajectory “kipping” in classical bodybuilding are considered a technical error.

An open grip, that is, the position of the fingers when the thumb is on the bar from above, is considered a technical error in street lifting and workout, but does not apply to such in the context of normal muscle pumping. Another thing, this position of the fingers overloads the forearm and makes you do extra work.

Movements in a small amplitude are not very good for pumping back muscles, they only allow you to strengthen your biceps, but to the widest just "does not reach the load." The use of this technique leads to the fact that a person does not train back muscles, but engages in self-deception.

Performance Tips

Representatives of power sports can be pulled up on the expander or neck of a larger diameter, so as not only to work out the muscles, but also to strengthen the grip. Leading the legs forward will help to achieve the desired tilt of the body, and facilitate pulling up. In practice, not all people manage to pull themselves up in a wide position of the hands without pain, many are forced to use a narrower grip, in which the load is partially shifted to the pectoral muscles and lower segments of the latissimus dorsi.

Exercise can be facilitated if you compensate for part of the effort by fixing the feet with a rubber band or perform it in a gravitron. If the goal is to learn how to pull up, rubber band is the preferred option. With it, a person will be able to fix the body stably, and quickly develop the correct trajectory. Gravitron is more intended for fitness, those who are overweight, and as a substitute for classic pull-ups for those clients who do not set as their goal the development of strength indicators.

Program Inclusion

Usually for those whose priority is bodybuilding, and not perfection in a jerk, push, or deadlift, pulling up on the horizontal bar with or without weight is the first exercise of the training program. Performed in 3 or more working approaches for 10-15 repetitions. If the athlete can perform more than 15 repetitions, you need to add weight to the belt, or work in a weighted vest.

Pulling is performed in conjunction with drafts for the back, and other exercises that promote muscle development.


It is generally believed that it is contraindicated to pull up with a wide grip with intervertebral hernias, injuries of the shoulder joints, and elbows, as well as fingers and wrists. There is no consensus regarding hernias, there is a position that there is no axial load in the exercise, which means that no problems can arise from pulling up.

Otherwise, it is enough to pull up 1-2 times a week to get a lasting positive effect from the exercise.