10 Best Pull Up Alternatives (with Pictures)
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Among all the vertical pulling exercises meant to enhance the back, pull-ups take a prominent place.

Pull-ups help to develop your v-tapered torso while also strengthening your back muscles. There are several advantages to doing them, some of which include improved grip and core strength.

However, not all of us possess the fundamental strength to just hold on the bar and perform flawless pull-ups. Without a pull-up bar, executing pull-ups becomes very difficult for those of us who prefer to practice at home.

In order to address such problems, we will discuss workouts in this post that can be used in place of pullups.

What Will I Discover?10 Best Pull Up Alternatives (with Pictures)

10 Best Pull-Up Substitutes

It’s more difficult than it seems to complete rigorous pull-ups. For that aim, you must possess a respectable amount of upper body pulling strength.

The exercises in this post will help you develop the base strength necessary to improve your pull-up technique.

Let’s look at them now.

lateral raises

One exercise that is a great substitute for pull-ups is the lat pulldown.

Many lifters who want to widen their backs have always included this exercise in their back training regimen.

Lat pulldowns target the lats, upper back, lower traps, forearms, and biceps in addition to other muscular groups because they are complex exercises.

Why is it crucial?

By training the latissimus dorsi in all of its ranges of motion, lat pulldowns help to increase back width.

Additionally, it gives your upper back muscles a good workout. Lat pulldowns serve as the ideal warm-up exercise, giving your body the necessary strength to complete a proper pull-up.


Arrive at a lat pulldown station, and adjust the knee pads so that your legs can stay locked the entire time.
Pick a weight that will make the activity difficult.

Place your knees snugly under the knee pads of the lat pulldown station’s sitting pad to assume a comfortable position.

Using an overhand grip, hold the bar with your hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart.

Pulling the bar closer your clavicle now requires you to retract your shoulders. Throughout the entire workout, keep your chest high.

In this position, flex your lats for one to two seconds.

Now, as you reduce the weight, flare your lats. Make careful to fully extend your lats.

Execute the specified amount of reps and sets.

Oblique Rows

Bent-over rows develop the horizontal range of motion in your back. Your back muscles’ thickness and width will subsequently be improved as a result of this.

So, if you want to develop a broad, three-dimensional back, you must incorporate bent-over rows into your exercise program.

Why is it crucial?

Barbell rows are an excellent mass-building exercise for the back that may be used in place of pull-ups.

A barbell that is filled with weights and a strong desire to create a barn door back are all you need to perform them. Additionally working your traps and back delts, bent-over rows are a great exercise.


Place your feet hip-width apart as you stand. Grab a barbell with the desired load in your pronated grip.

Push your chest out while pulling your shoulders back.

Now press your hips back and gently bend your knees as you lean forward. Lean your body forward until it is virtually parallel to the ground.

Pull your elbows up and raise the barbell in a rowing action starting from this point. Arrange your upper arms and elbows next to your torso.

Now, flex your back muscles for a little moment.

When you’re ready to return to the starting position, slowly extend your elbows and stretch your lats.
Repeat as many sets and reps as needed.

Backward Rows

Never undervalue the benefits of back workouts that use your own body weight as resistance if you want to develop a broad and powerful back. In this group of workouts are inverted rows. By just shifting your foot’s location in relation to the bar, you may even alter how challenging or simple this exercise is for you, depending on your strength levels.

Why is it crucial?

Your lats, mid-back, and rear delts are the main muscles worked during an inverted row. Inverted rows can help you get rid of the problem if you have trouble doing even one pull-up.

While giving your back muscles a good workout, inverted rows also prepare your body to perform challenging pull-up reps.


Place a barbell at a height from the floor that is just a bit higher than the length of your arms.

Now take a position underneath the bar and grasp it overhand.

Make sure that just your heels are in contact with the ground while completely extending your elbows. Your entire body must be straight.

Now press your chest out and roll your shoulder blades back.

tighten your glutes and midsection.

Attempting to touch the barbell with your chest, pull yourself up now.

At this point, flex your back muscles briefly before lowering yourself gradually. Completely extend your elbows.
Repeat as many sets and reps as needed.

lateral raises

You may think of lat pushdowns as a single-joint lat workout. It enables you to develop a solid mental and physical bond with your lats. The back exercises that lifters who are recognized for having cobra backs typically include this one in their regimen.

Why is it crucial?

When you perform lat pushdowns, your lats will get more elongated. This then helps to increase their width, giving your back a v-shaped appearance.

Therefore, you must unquestionably include lat pushdowns in your back training regimen if you’re hunting for a pull-up alternative that will increase your back breadth.

Lat pushdowns not only work your latissimus dorsi but also your teres major and rear delts.


To begin the workout, attach a straight-bar handle to the cable attachment and place it just above your head.

Using an overhand grip, hold the bar with your arms at shoulder-width distance.

Once your elbows are fully extended, step back from the cable machine.

Now keep your elbows and knees slightly bent, keep your chest out, and keep your back arched. Right now, start flaring your lats.

In an arc, lower the bar until it is close to your hips. When the bar contacts your thighs, the movement should stop.
Return to the beginning posture while experiencing a good lat stretch.

Repeat as many sets and reps as needed.

Weighted Pullover

Another excellent exercise that may be used in place of pull-ups is the barbell pullover.

You train your lats in a way that pushes them to the limit when you do a barbell pullover. So, just like pull-ups, executing barbell pullovers helps to increase the width of your back.

Why is it crucial?

Barbell pullovers primarily target your lats’ bottom region. Your back looks good if your lower lats are developed.

Barbell pullovers additionally strengthen your ribcage and train your serratus anterior.


On a flat bench, lie on your back. firmly plant your feet on the ground.

Place a barbell on the floor behind your head, loaded with the desired weight.

Bring the barbell up close to your chest while grabbing it with slightly bent elbows.

Breathe deeply as you slowly lower the barbell until your lats are fully stretched. Make sure the barbell doesn’t contact the ground. Asking someone to sit on your knees will help steady your legs if you are using rather substantial weight for this workout.

Exhale as you go back to your starting posture.

For the required number of sets and reps, repeat the instructions.

Standing Cable Rows

The best thing about cable exercises is that they continuously press your muscles. Your back muscles often move horizontally when you conduct seated cable rows. Your lower back will not or barely be stressed during this workout.

Why is it crucial?

You may strengthen your lats and midback by doing sitting cable rows. Your ability to perform pull-ups will benefit from the strength and training of these muscles. So, if you can’t do pull-ups, work on strengthening your sitting cable rows.

It will undoubtedly carry over significantly in terms of strength, allowing you to perform astounding numbers of pull-ups.


Seated in front of a low pulley cable, begin the exercise. Add a handle for a v-bar to it.

Grab the handle of the v-bar and sit far enough away from the pulley to stretch your lats.

Put your feet comfortably on a solid foundation.

Keep your chest out, roll your shoulder blades back, and straighten your spine.

Now bend your elbows back and row with your upper arms until the handle of the v-bar touches your lower abdomen.
Give your back a slight flex. At this moment, firmly contract your lats

Get return to your starting position by slowly extending your elbows. Make careful to fully extend your lats.
Repeat as many sets and reps as needed.

Rebellious Rows

You may even do renegade rows at home as a substitute exercise for pull-ups. To complete them, all you need are two dumbbells and your own weight.

Why is it crucial?

Renegade rows are a fantastic pull-up substitute workout that effectively works your lats. Renegade rows also exercise your obliques, rhomboids, and rear delts. Renegade rows are the ideal exercise since they strengthen your stability and core strength, which will help you perform better on other exercises.


Lay two dumbbells out on the ground. They should be placed at a distance equivalent to your shoulder width.

Now place yourself in a pushup stance with your hands holding the dumbbells and your toes firmly planted on the floor. At this stage, your hands should be facing one another.

Just below your shoulders is where your hands should be placed. At this time, your body should be in the traditional plank position.
Now inhale and shift your weight to your left arm while contracting your core. Avoid twisting your upper body.

Row the dumbbell towards your chest while forcefully contracting your right shoulder blade. Keep your elbows by your sides at all times. Lift the object repeatedly until your right elbow is just above your body. Now let out a big breath.

As you slowly return to the beginning position, extend your right elbow. Now take a deep breath.

For the left side, carry out the identical procedures.

Repeat as many sets and reps as needed.

Dimwitted Kroc Row

This exercise bears Mathew Kroczaleski’s name. This exercise targets your lats and, to a lesser extent, your mid-back and rear delts because it is a compound exercise. This workout will improve your grip strength as well if you use heavy weights.

Why is it crucial?

A unilateral back workout that fully engages your lats is the dumbbell kroc row.

Your lats experience tremendous tension with dumbbell kroc rows, which causes them to expand in both width and thickness.

You may improve your mind-muscle connection with your lats by doing this workout. The dumbbell kroc row exercise challenges your body to remain stable. This improves your core stability in turn.


As you stand next to a flat bench or a power rack to begin the exercise, place one foot in front of the other. Keep a large dumbbell in your one hand.

Lean forward while placing your other hand firmly on the bench or the power rack. Your body will incline toward the floor at a 15-degree angle.

Brace your core and roll your shoulder blades back.

In order to lift the dumbbell, row your upper arms upward. As the weight will gain velocity, lift it up using your leg and hip push.

Lift the object repeatedly until your upper arms reach just over your torso.

Now raise your arms and bend your elbows. Once you get to the bottom of this action, your lats will feel like they are getting a good stretch.

Execute the specified amount of reps and sets.

Rows with a chest support or batwing rows (with dumbbells)

To experience the benefits of batwing rows in your back training program, you must include them if you are unable to feel your lats while executing any back exercises. Because there is no momentum in this exercise, it targets your lats especially.

Why is it crucial?

When you execute chest supported rows, also known as batwing rows, you not only strengthen your back muscles but also your grip, especially when using big weights.

This makes batwing rows a good alternative exercise for pull-ups. Your lats will appear bigger and more developed after completing this workout, which fully extends them.


Set up an inclined bench at a 45–60 degree slant.

Grab a dumbbell in each hand while lying on the incline bench with your chest supported by it. Your hands must be hanging down at this stage.

Give your lats a full stretch. As you lift the weight, flex your elbows until they are just above your body. In this position, forcefully extend your lats.

Dumbbells should be lowered gradually before returning to the starting position.

Repeat as many sets and reps as needed.

Laundry Rows

It might be challenging to workout your back at home, especially when there isn’t much equipment available. However, you could give your back muscles a good workout at home if you included an activity like towel rows in your program.

Why is it crucial?

You should definitely try towel rows if you’re seeking for a home exercise that can replace pull-ups.

All you need for this exercise is a towel and a reliable object to anchor it to. For performing this workout, we advise using a longer towel. This exercise focuses your lats, upper back, rear delts, and mid-traps throughout execution.


Grab a towel, then round a sturdy pole with it.

Now take hold of the towel’s ends with both hands.

Place your feet on the pole’s base and lean backwards until your arms are completely stretched. Maintain a small bend in your knees while keeping your upper body straight.

Pull your upper body in the direction of the pole while pulling back your shoulder blades until you feel your lats compress.

When your chest is fully in touch with your palms, flex your back hard. Hold on for a brief moment.
Your elbows should now slowly extend as you return to the starting position. At this time, completely extend your lats.

Repeat as many sets and reps as needed.

the conclusion

Your back development will undoubtedly reach fresh heights if you perform 3–4 of the exercises from the list above. Therefore, you can rely on the aforementioned alternate pull-up workouts if you are unable to complete some strict pull-ups.

The exercises we’ve listed in this article can help you build stronger back muscles in addition to serving as an alternative to pull-ups.

Additionally, they will try to develop the base strength necessary for you to eventually complete some severe pull-ups. So go ahead and try them.