I am a professional Calisthenics athlete. 12 years ago, when I just started doing sports, my very first exercise I started with was the pull-up. By this day, I have taken part in numerous Calisthenics completions, won first, took second and third places and even was a judge of several international Calisthenics events. So, I have all reasons to say, that I DO THINK that the pull-up is the best exercise everybody should master first! I see a lot of newbies in the gym every day, who start their fitness way off from doing machine exercises, such as rows, pulldowns etc. And I also see plenty of guys, who can do a pretty badass deadlift but are not able to complete even 5 or 10 clean pull-ups.

From my point of view, the pull-up is a basic compound bodyweight exercise, which must be mastered the first time you make it to the gym. Many of us skip pull-ups because at the very start they seem so difficult to do. But their difficulty is an indicator of how beneficial they are.

I started doing sports in 2009, and I had never ever done even a single repetition of a deadlift till the end of 2017. And when I tried that exercises for the first time in my life, I managed to lift 170 kg just because my body (my lats and my arms) were ready for this long ago.


  • Grip strength

Pull-ups train your grip like nothing else. They help you develop powerful forearms as well as finger strength too. Strong forearms will provide you with better coordination and control when lifting weights, controlling bike etc.

  • Build core strength

Yes, you do use your core muscles while doing pull-ups. Even though If you are still doubting it, try to do 100 sit-ups for time first and then grab the bar and do the max amount of pull-ups. I guarantee, it will feel differently!

  • Boost your cardio

Pull-ups can improve cardio if done in multiple sets with short rests. For instance, one of my favorite routines includes 100 strict pull-ups for time or 6 sets of 30 pull-ups with 3 min rest in between. You definitely need to check them out!


- Latissimus dorsi (lats)

It’s a muscle group, which benefits from doing pull-ups the most. Yeah, if you want to build a wide V-shaped back, don't start with dumbbell rows... Master pull-ups first!

- Rhomboids

They are found in the back which is next to the latissimus dorsi muscles. Since they support the lats, they also get a great workout from pull-ups.

- Biceps and forearms

Not only do pull-ups help you work the back muscles but also help your biceps and forearms grow and get big!

So, If you are going to start your fitness journey to improve your body, look good and have overall strength, you don’t necessarily have to buy a gym membership the first time. You can just start with pull-ups first. Trust, you will like the result!


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