Reach up. Grab the bar. Pull yourself up. Repeat. It doesn’t get much simpler than that if you’re looking for an exercise that holds tremendous payoff. Still, the pull-up and its many variations remain among the most underused tactics for building a back rife with detail and deep-channeled muscularity.
Hit em from all angles
Pull-ups are not easy – the mechanical advantage is poor even in when you are in good position. Cheating them, while a fair thing to do on the last rep or two of each set, will not improve your long-term strength or size. Since the lats are a large muscle group that needs to be hit from different angles, you need to use a full range of motion across a variety of exercises. Pull-ups also require the contribution of dozens of smaller, contributing muscles which is good news – it means that consistent training will lead to rapid strength gains in the short term and more total muscle gains down the road.
The following 6 exercises, when performed with regularly (and correctly), will attack your entire group of pull muscles (including your biceps). Whether you can only do one or a few, if you continue to execute these movements with precision, you will find that a dozen pull-ups (or more) are well within your reach.