I Love Pullups. Many people avoid or cheat this exercise because pullups are hard. The pullup is a one stop shop for upper body when your short on time. This exercise contains great potential to improve your overall fitness.
Your latissimus dorsi muscles receive the greatest benefit from pullups. These muscles run from the top and outside of each shoulder and down the back. As you contract your arms and pull yourself up in the motion of the pullup, the latissimus dorsi muscles are the ones primarily responsible for making this motion.
Rhomboids are, adjacent to the latissimus dorsi muscles. In their support of the lats, they too receive a great workout from pullups. Helping to strengthen your back is an important part of strengthening your front and core, as well. Pullups make use of many muscles and joints.
Your forearm muscles, biceps, and triceps will all have to engage in order to bend your arms at the elbow and accomplish the lifting motion that makes up the pullup. Thus, all of these various muscle groups will also benefit from pullups as well.
Lindsay Nagle is a Lake Tahoe-based USA Weightlifting Sports Performance Coach, NASM Certified Personal Trainer, CrossFit Level 1 trainer, Eat To Perform Coach, Qualified TRX Level 1 Trainer, and founder of Fitness Journey Personal Training.