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Are Pull-Ups A Good Warm Up? (Simple Answer)

You’re probably aware of the importance of a proper warm-up, even if you’ve never stepped your toe in the gym.

Warming up prepares your body for the exercises it’s about to perform.

It increases heart rate, blood flow, and can help release any tightness or tension being held in your muscles.

But do you know what exercises and movements can form part of an effective warm-up?

Depending on the muscles you’re training in your workout, your experience, and your current fitness level, some seemingly challenging exercises could actually be used as a warm-up.

In this article, we look to answer the question of whether pull-ups are a good warm-up or not.

We look at things such as who they might be useful for, who they might not be suitable for, and other points to help you decide whether pull-ups can be part of your warm-ups in the future.

Are Pull Ups A Good Warm Up?

Yes, pull-ups can be a good warm-up although they won’t be suitable for everyone.

One of the first things to consider is whether pull-ups will actually warm up the muscles you plan on training in your workout.

For example, if you have a heavy legs session planned that’ll include squats, lunges, leg press, and other similar lower body exercises, then pull-ups aren’t going to warm up the appropriate muscles.

Another consideration to keep in mind is your current fitness level.

If you find pull-ups difficult, they’ll probably put too much stress on your muscles to be suitable for a warm-up.

Like a lot of fitness-based questions, the answer to the question of whether pull-ups are a good warm-up or not is actually yes and no depending on a few different factors.

Who Should Warm Up With Pull Ups?

People Who Are About To Train Their Back

Pull-ups activate several different muscles, so they can be a great way of getting lots of blood flow heading towards the working muscles. 

If you’re warming up for a back workout, then pull-ups could be a very beneficial warm-up exercise.

The movement will bring most of the muscles that’ll be working during back exercises into play, so pull-ups can work very well as a warm-up in this situation.

Experienced Gym-Goers

If you’re relatively experienced in the gym and have built a solid foundation of strength, then pull-ups could be a suitable warm-up exercise for you.

The main thing to keep in mind is that a warm-up should be a relatively low-intensity part of your session.

That means that any exercises performed at this stage should be pretty comfortable.

If you find pull-ups challenging, then it’s not a good idea to use them as a warm-up.

If you find pull-ups to be a comfortable exercise to perform though, then there aren’t too many reasons why you couldn’t use them as part of your warm-up routine.

Are Narrow or Wide Grip Pull Ups Better For Warming Up?

Narrow grip pull-ups tend to be easier to do, so might be better suited as a warm-up exercise compared to the more challenging wide grip pull-ups.

That being said, wide grip pull-ups can activate certain muscles more (in particular the lats) so, depending on which muscles you want to focus your warm-up on, both variations could be useful.

Who Shouldn’t Warm Up With Pull Ups?

People Training Muscles Not Activated During Pull-Ups

The whole point of a warm-up is to prepare your muscles for exercise.

That’s why a warm-up needs to be focused on the muscles that you will be working during your workout.

If you’re training your lower body, then pull-ups will not be suitable as a warm-up as no lower body muscles activate during the movement. 

People Who Find Pull-Ups Challenging

A warm-up is all about preparing your body for exercise by gradually increasing heart rate, blood flow, and the amount of stress placed on the working muscles.

Any exercise performed as part of a warm-up should be relatively easy to perform.

If you find pull-ups challenging, then they won’t be suitable as a warm-up as they’ll place too much stress on your muscles before they’re thoroughly warmed up.

This could increase the risk of injury.

How To Warm Up With Pull Ups

There are a few ways you can use pull-ups as a warm-up exercise.

You might use a resistance band to assist you in the movement, as shown below.

This makes pull-ups a little easier so it can be a good way of gradually increasing the amount of stress placed on your muscles.

You could also just do a small number of reps that you gradually increase as your body moves further into the warm-up process.

Doing pull-up variations that you find easier can also be an effective way of using the movement as a warm up tool.

How To Warm Up For Pull Ups

As pull-ups cause activation in several muscle groups, a thorough warm-up is important to help prevent injury.

Mobilization of your shoulders will be important so things like shoulder circles can be very helpful.

Muscles like your back (particularly your lats), shoulders, biceps, chest, and core all play a part in pull-ups, so each one will need to be warmed up appropriately.

You should not rush through your warm-up routine, so take your time to ensure all of the working muscles are fully prepared for pull-ups and your risk of injury will be drastically reduced.


In summary:

  • Pull-ups are a good warm up if you’re training your upper body, particularly your back and biceps.
  • If you’re training your lower body, then you should warm up with specific lower body exercises.

That’s all for this article, but can you do pull-ups with an inguinal hernia? Or you may be wondering why you experience neck pain after pull-ups?

Hope this helped!


Pull-Ups Muscles Worked