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Do Pull-Ups Help Posture, Scoliosis & Rounded Shoulders?

If you’re wondering whether pull-ups help posture, then you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we look at how pull-ups can improve your posture, as well as whether pull-ups are good for scoliosis and rounded shoulders!

man doing a pull-up outside

Do Pull-Ups Help Posture?

Yes, as a general rule, pull-ups can be helpful for posture.

If you think about it, this makes a lot of sense.

Bad posture tends to be caused by a hunched back and rounded shoulders (potentially as a result of too much chest work in the gym).

To pull your shoulders back and get your back into an upright position, strong back muscles will be needed.

As pull-ups work your back muscles (among others), they can help to correct and maintain better posture.

That being said, this isn’t the case for everyone.

Some posture issues are caused by medical conditions or injuries.

In these situations, pull-ups are likely to make things worse rather than better.

Are Wide Grip or Narrow Grip Pull-Ups Better For Posture?

Wide grip pull-ups put more focus on your back muscles than narrow grip pull-ups.

If you want to improve your posture, using a wide grip for your pull-ups will likely be of more benefit to you.

Close grip pull-ups tend to work your biceps and chest a bit more.

Bad posture can be made worse by strengthening your chest so wide grip pull-ups are better for posture.

Are Pull-Ups Better Than Chin Ups For Posture?

Chin-ups encourage greater activation of your chest and arm muscles.

This can pull your shoulders forward and cause arching of your back.

Pull-ups primarily work your back. In particular, the lower trapezius muscle which sits in between your shoulder blades.

Strengthening this muscle will help pull your shoulders and chest back and your back into a more upright position.

With this in mind, pull-ups are better than chin-ups when it comes to posture.

Can Pull-Ups Make Your Posture Worse?

Normally, pull-ups will help improve posture.

However, if you already have bad posture due to certain conditions, pull-ups could actually make things worse.

Things like kyphosis, which is rounding of the spine at the mid-back, can reduce mobility as well as shoulder blade positioning.

This then encourages excessive effort to be placed on the shoulders during pull-ups. Not only that, but your back will likely not appreciate the additional stress placed on it.

If you have any kind of pre-existing posture issue, it’s normally a good idea to consult with a medical professional before trying to resolve it with pull-ups.

Do Pull-Ups Help Hunch Back?

Pull-ups can help with a hunch back but it really depends on why you have a hunch back in the first place.

If your hunch back has been caused by too many chest workouts and not enough back workouts, then yes, pull-ups can certainly help you to get rid of your hunch back and improve your posture.

However, if your hunch back is the result of a medical condition, pull-ups probably won’t be enough to help and they could, in fact, make things worse for you.

Are Pull-Ups Good For Rounded Shoulders?


Usually, rounded shoulders come from weak rhomboid muscles.

In practical terms, sitting at a desk or driving a car for extended periods of time on a regular basis tends to be the cause of rounded shoulders.

Pull-ups help to build strength in your back with particular focus on the muscles between your shoulder blades – like the rhomboids.

Strengthening these muscles helps pull your shoulders back and helps improve your overall posture.

Click to see whether push-ups help rounded shoulders.

Are Pull-Ups Good For Scoliosis?

There seems to be a lot of conflicting information out there about whether you should be doing pull-ups with scoliosis or not. 

Scoliosis is a condition where the spine curves to one side. It has varying degrees of seriousness with some people experiencing minimal impact on their everyday life while others experience much greater effects.

If you look online, you’ll find a wealth of so-called “experts” offering advice on the types of exercise you should do if you have scoliosis. Many of them recommend pull-ups as a beneficial exercise to perform.

If you ignore the pretend experts though and listen to the educated, qualified, and highly experienced people who provide treatment for the condition…

They say that while increasing core strength is important for people with scoliosis, traditional core-building exercises like sit-ups, push-ups, and pull-ups should be avoided as they involve unnatural arching and strain on the back.

If you’re working with a medical professional to treat your scoliosis and they recommend pull-ups, then they may help.

It’s not usually a good idea to try and treat any medical condition yourself without speaking to a qualified medical professional first.

Common Mistakes To Avoid When Doing Pull-Ups For Posture

Pull-ups can be a great exercise for improving posture, but it’s important to perform them correctly to avoid injury and maximize their benefits.

Here are some common mistakes to avoid when doing pull-ups for posture:

1. Not Engaging Your Core

One of the most common mistakes I see in the gym is when people fail to engage their core muscles during pull-ups.

Your core muscles are essential for maintaining proper form and protecting your back.

To engage your core during a pull-up, focus on squeezing your abs and glutes and keeping your hips tucked under.

2. Using Momentum

Using momentum to swing your body and propel yourself upward is another common mistake when doing pull-ups.

This can put unnecessary strain on your shoulders and back and detract from the benefits of the exercise. Instead, focus on a slow, controlled movement and avoid swinging your body.

3. Grip Issues

Improper grip can also lead to issues when doing pull-ups for posture.

Make sure your grip is comfortable and allows for a full range of motion. Avoid over-gripping or under-gripping the bar, which can strain your wrists or limit your ability to pull yourself up.

4. Not Lowering All the Way

Failing to lower yourself all the way down to a dead hang position is another common mistake. This can limit the range of motion and reduce the effectiveness of the exercise.

Aim to lower yourself down until your arms are fully extended, then pull yourself up again.

5. Neglecting Other Posture Exercises

While pull-ups can be a great exercise for improving posture, they shouldn’t be the only exercise in your routine. Neglecting other exercises that target different muscle groups can lead to muscle imbalances and posture issues.

Incorporate other exercises such as rows, planks, and squats into your routine to improve overall posture.

When to See a Professional for Posture Issues

While exercises like pull-ups can be a great way to improve your posture, sometimes professional help is necessary to address more serious posture issues.

Here are some signs that you may need to seek the help of a professional:

1. Chronic Pain or Discomfort

If you experience chronic pain or discomfort in your back, neck, or shoulders, it’s worth consulting with a medical professional to rule out any underlying issues.

They may refer you to a physical therapist, chiropractor, or other specialist who can help address your posture issues.

2. Limited Mobility

If you experience limited mobility or range of motion, it may be a sign of underlying posture issues that require professional attention.

A physical therapist can help you identify and address these issues through targeted exercises and stretches.

3. Scoliosis or Other Structural Issues

If you have a preexisting condition like scoliosis or other structural issues that affect your posture, it’s important to seek the guidance of a medical professional.

They can provide tailored treatment plans to address your specific needs and improve your overall posture.

4. No Improvement With Exercise

If you’ve been consistently exercising and targeting your posture, but still aren’t seeing any improvement, it may be time to seek the help of a professional.

A physical therapist or personal trainer can assess your form and technique and provide guidance on how to modify your exercises to better target your posture issues.


In summary:

  • Generally, pull-ups improve posture, but in some cases, they can make your posture worse.
  • If you have rounded shoulders, then pull-ups are a great exercise to alleviate this.
  • You should avoid doing pull-ups with scoliosis unless advised by a medical professional.

That’s all for this article, but do pull-ups build traps? Or can pull-ups make you taller?

Hope this helped!


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