Pull Exercises for the Whole Body

This pull workout involves pulling exercises targeting the butt, hamstrings, back, and biceps. Alternate this workout with the push workout, which targets the quads, outer thighs, chest, shoulders, and triceps to target all the muscles of the body.

  • Warm up with a few minutes of light cardio or by doing a warm-up set of each exercise with light a weight
  • Beginners: Perform one set of 10-16 reps of each exercise and add a set every two weeks or as you feel comfortable
  • Intermediate/Advanced Exercisers: Complete 2-4 sets of 8-15 reps of each exercise with 30-60 seconds of rest between sets. 
  • Check with your doctor if you have any medical issues       

Deadlift (Hamstrings/Back)

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding weights in front of you.  Keeping knees slightly bent (or straight) tip from the hips with back straight, shoulders back and abs in. Lower the torso towards the floor, keeping the weight close to legs. Squeeze through the butt and hamstrings to come back up and repeat.         


Step Ups with Band

Wrap a resistance band under one side of the step and hold on to the handles to create tension. Place right foot on the step and press into the heel as you step up. Lower down, touching left toe to the floor and repeat.        


One-Leg Hip Raises (Hamstrings/Glutes)

Place one foot on a step or ball (harder), knee bent, and raise left leg straight up. Keeping abs tight, squeeze butt and hamstring to lift butt off the floor, pushing left leg straight up towards the ceiling. Lower back until butt barely touches the floor. Alternate on each leg for 2-3 sets of 16 reps. 


Hip Extension on the Ball

Lie with hips on the ball and forearms on the floor. Bend the knees so shins are parallel to the floor and squeeze the glutes to lift the feet towards the ceiling. 


Dumbbell Rows

Stand with feet hip-width apart and bend at the waist until torso is parallel to the floor (or higher, if it hurts your back). Keep abs contracted to protect the back and bend arms, pulling elbow up to the rib cage while contracting the lat muscles. Lower and repeat. Do this one arm at a time if you find this too hard on your back. 


DB Pullover (Lats/Triceps)

Lie face up on a step, bench or ball, holding the dumbbell straight up overhead. Keeping your back on the bench and using control, slowly lower the weight behind your head, arms slightly bent, until you're level with the bench. Squeeze your back to pull the weight back up to start  


Reverse Fly

Sit on a ball or bench and bend forward, holding the weights under the legs with palms facing each other. Contract the shoulder blades and lift the arms up to shoulder level, elbows slightly bent. Lower and repeat. 


Dumbbell Bicep Curls (Biceps)

Hold weights in hands, palms facing out, elbow slightly bent. Keeping abs tight, bend the elbows and bring the weights towards the shoulders (don't touch the shoulders), keeping elbows from moving back and forth. Slowly lower back down, but don't straighten the arm entirely--keep tension on the muscle throughout the movement. If you find you're swinging the weights to get them up, lower the weight and slow down. 


Concentration Curls

 Kneel on floor or sit on a bench and grasp a dumbbell. Place the back of the upper arm on the inner thigh and lean into the leg to raise the elbow a bit. Raise dumbbell to front of the shoulder and then lower until arm is almost fully extended.

Was this page helpful?
Article Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Negrete RJ, Hanney WJ, Pabian P, Kolber MJ. Upper body push and pull strength ratio in recreationally active adults. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2013;8(2):138-44.