Wide Grip Pull Up: Essential Body Weight Exercise For Back Develop

Feature image for wide grip pull up post. With an image of a man performing the exercise on left and a graphic of the exercise on the right.

Wide Grip Pull Up most certainly is a challenging exercise to build your lats. Are you looking to obtain outstanding technique and get a bigger Latissimus Dorsi? You should use our step-by-step guide to help you get going straight away.

Wide Grip Pull Up Summary

  • Primary Muscles: Latissimus Dorsi
  • Secondary Muscles: Brachialis, Brachioradialis, Deltoid – Posterior, Infraspinatus, Levator Scapulae, Pectoralis Major-Sternal, Pectoralis Minor, Rhomboids, Teres Major, Teres Minor, Trapezius – Lower, and Trapezius – Middle
  • Equipment: Pull Up Bar
  • Mechanics Type: Compound
  • Force: Pull
  • Utility: Basic
Graphic image of a fit man performing alternate cable triceps extensions.

Wide Grip Pull Up Instructions

  • Step up and grab a pull-up bar with a wide overhand grip.
  • Pull your body up until your eyes are above the bar.
  • Lower your body until your arms and shoulders are fully extended.
  • Do your Wide Grip Pull-Up for a full set.

Video Tutorial

How to: Wide grip pull up

Wide Grip Pull Up Muscles

Target (Agonist)

  • Latissimus Dorsi


  • Brachialis
  • Brachioradialis
  • Deltoid – Posterior
  • Infraspinatus
  • Levator Scapulae
  • Pectoralis Major – Sternal
  • Pectoralis Minor
  • Rhomboids
  • Teres Major
  • Teres Minor
  • Trapezius – Lower
  • Trapezius – Middle

Dynamic Stabilizers

  • Biceps Brachii
  • Triceps – Long Head


  • No Significant Stabilizers

Antagonist Stabilizers

  • None
Image of the skeletal muscular system with the muscles used in the wide grip pull up exercise highlighted in red and the rest in blue.

Benefits of Wide Grip Pull Up

The Wide Grip Pull Up is a great exercise for building strength in the Latissimus Dorsi, or “lats”, which are the largest muscles in the back. This exercise helps to strengthen and tone the entire back, shoulders, and arms. It also increases grip strength, making it an ideal exercise for athletes who need to have strong hands and arms. In addition, performing the Wide Grip Pull Up can help improve posture by strengthening the muscles in the back that support the spine. Finally, this exercise is a great way to build upper body strength and endurance, making it an important part of any strength training or fitness routine.

Tips for Performing Wide Grip Pull Up

Your at the right place if you’re trying to advance your wide grip pull up performance. Using these suggestions can allow you to take full advantage of this amazing workout. In addition to building your lats muscles, increasing movability, and also a lower chance of injury can all be achieved with this exercise. Let’s begin now and see what these tips may accomplish for you.

  • Grip the bar firmly: When doing a wide grip pull up, it is important to grip the bar firmly with both hands to ensure you have a good foundation to perform the exercise. This will help you get the most out of the exercise and prevent any unnecessary injury.
  • Make sure your shoulders are pulled back: Make sure that when you are doing the wide grip pull up, your shoulders are pulled back. This will ensure that you are engaging your core properly and that your body is in the correct form to maximize the benefit of the exercise.
  • Use your entire body: When doing the wide grip pull up, make sure to use your entire body. Engaging your core and leg muscles will help you get the most out of the exercise and make it more effective. This will help you build strength and get fit quickly.

Benefits and Tips Video

Top 5 Wide Grip Pullup Form Tips!

Frequent Mistakes To Avoid

When conducting wide grip pull up, avoiding common mistakes is usually the difference between a productive workout and a debilitating injury. From bad form to not engaging your core, these errors can reduce the productiveness of the exercise and can even put you at risk for injury. However, take it easy, it’s not as challenging as it might appear. By knowing the errors to avert and taking the appropriate actions, you can execute the activity safely and effectively. Thus, it is now your turn to optimize the impact of this exercise and enjoy the benefits of a successful workout.

  • Pulling too hard: Pulling too hard can cause damage to the muscles and joints, resulting in injury and reducing the effectiveness of the exercise.
  • Not using the correct form: Not using the correct form when performing the Wide Grip Pull Up can lead to poor results and make it more difficult to gain the full benefits of the exercise.
  • Not engaging the core: Not engaging the core during the Wide Grip Pull Up can lead to an unbalanced workout, reducing the overall effectiveness of the exercise.

Variations and Complementary Exercises

If you want to add variety to your workout, or if you are unable to perform Wide Grip Pull Ups due to lack of equipment or physical limitations, there are many other exercises that you can use to target the same muscles. Below is a list of variations, complementary, and alternative exercises that will give you the same great workout.

Graphic image of Wide Grip Rear Lat Pulldown.

Wide Grip Rear Lat Pulldown: The Wide Grip Rear Lat Pulldown is an excellent complementary or alternative exercise for the Wide Grip Pull Up. This exercise specifically targets the back muscles, specifically the latissimus dorsi and the trapezius. The wide grip positioning places extra emphasis on the lats and middle back muscles, while the rear positioning gives a greater stretch to the lats, which helps to increase range of motion. The exercise also helps to strengthen and improve posture, as it encourages good posture throughout the exercise.

Graphic image of Assisted Close Grip Underhand Chin Up.

Assisted Close Grip Underhand Chin Up: Assisted Close Grip Underhand Chin Up is a great alternative exercise for the Wide Grip Pull Up. This exercise targets the same muscles but with a slightly different angle. The close grip places more emphasis on the biceps and decreases the stress on the shoulders. To perform this exercise, you will need an assisted chin up machine or a partner to help lift you up. Start by gripping the bar with an underhand grip, shoulder width apart. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and pull yourself up until your chin is above the bar. Slowly lower yourself back down, being sure to keep your core engaged throughout the movement. This exercise can be a great complement to the Wide Grip Pull Up, as it will help target the same muscles with a different angle.

Graphic image of Barbell Bent Arm Pullover.

Barbell Bent Arm Pullover: The Barbell Bent Arm Pullover is a great alternative or complementary exercise to the Wide Grip Pull Up. It is performed by lying on a flat bench with a barbell grasped in both hands above your chest. Then, lower the barbell behind your head while keeping your elbows slightly bent. This exercise works both the chest and back muscles, making it a great way to supplement the Wide Grip Pull Up. This exercise can be performed with moderate to heavy weight and will help to strengthen the muscles used in the Wide Grip Pull Up, allowing you to achieve better performance and results.

Check Out These Top Bodyweight Exercises

Graphic image of Chin Up.

Chin Up: Chin Up is a great complementary or alternative exercise to Wide Grip Pull Up. It works the same muscle groups, but in a slightly different way. Unlike Wide Grip Pull Up, Chin Up is performed with the palms facing towards the body instead of away. This puts more emphasis on the biceps and less on the back muscles, which can provide more of an arm workout. Additionally, Chin Up can be done with resistance bands, weights, or just your bodyweight, making it an accessible exercise for everyone regardless of their fitness level.

Graphic image of Muscle Up.

Muscle Up: Muscle Up is an exercise that combines the movements of a pull up and a dip. It is a great alternative or complement to the Wide Grip Pull Up because it engages the same muscles, but adds more intensity and difficulty by incorporating a transition between the two motions. It is also an effective way to build strength and muscle definition in the upper body. Additionally, it works the core and upper body in a way that many other exercises do not, making it an ideal choice for a full-body workout.

Graphic image of Reverse Grip Lat Pulldown.

Reverse Grip Lat Pulldown: Reverse Grip Lat Pulldown is a great complementary or alternative exercise to the Wide Grip Pull Up. It is a great way to strengthen the back, shoulders, and arms, while also providing an excellent stretch of the lats. This exercise is performed by sitting at a pulldown machine, grasping the bar with an overhand grip, slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. The exerciser then pulls the bar down towards the chest, keeping the elbows tucked into the sides and the torso stationary. This exercise can be modified by varying the grip width, or by using a cable machine instead of a pulldown machine. Reverse Grip Lat Pulldown can be done to increase strength, endurance, and stability in the back, arms, and shoulders, making it a great addition to any workout routine.

Opposing Complementary Exercises

In order to maximize your workout and get the most out of the Wide Grip Pull Up, it is important to also work the opposing muscle groups to ensure balance. Here are a few exercises that can help with that:

Graphic image of Barbell Seated Bradford Rocky Press.

Barbell Seated Bradford Rocky Press: The barbell seated bradford rocky press is a great exercise to complement the wide grip pull up. This exercise works the opposing muscle group, the anterior deltoids, which are located in the front of the shoulders. This exercise is great for developing shoulder strength, stability, and overall shoulder health. It also helps to balance out the back muscles that are being worked during the pull up. When done together, these two exercises can help to create a well-rounded upper body workout that will help improve overall strength and performance.

Graphic image of Barbell Seated Shoulder Press.

Barbell Seated Shoulder Press: The Barbell Seated Shoulder Press is a great way to target the shoulders and can be used to complement the Wide Grip Pull Up. The Barbell Seated Shoulder Press works the anterior deltoid, the front of the shoulder, while the Wide Grip Pull Up works the posterior deltoid, the back of the shoulder. By performing both exercises, you are able to work both muscle groups and achieve a balanced workout. This is especially beneficial for those who want to build strength and size in their shoulders. Furthermore, by performing these two exercises together, you can create a more efficient workout that focuses on all of the muscles in the shoulder complex.

Graphic image of Barbell Standing Bradford Press.

Barbell Standing Bradford Press: The Barbell Standing Bradford Press is a great complementary exercise to the Wide Grip Pull Up, as it works the opposite muscle group. This exercise targets the anterior deltoids and triceps while the Wide Grip Pull Up focuses on the back muscles, such as the lats and rhomboids. Performing both exercises will help to build balance and symmetry in the upper body, as well as build strength in those opposing muscle groups. The Barbell Standing Bradford Press is an effective way to strengthen and tone the upper body, while also helping to improve posture and reduce injury risk.


The wide grip pull up is an incredible exercise to help you get fit and strong. Not only are you building your back muscles, but you’re also getting a great core workout. Remember to keep your elbows wide, stay focused on your form, and avoid swinging and arching your back. Now that you have the basics, you can use our tips to make sure you get the most out of your pull up routine. With that said, I think it’s time to put those pull ups into practice! Now that you know the benefits, muscles used, tips and mistakes, why not take a look at some of our other fitness articles to get even more inspired?

References: Wikipedia | ExRx.net | PubMed.gov

Pin image for wide grip pull up post. With an image of a man performing the exercise on Top and a graphic of the exercise on the Bottom.

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