Weighted pull-up exercise
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Weighted pull-up

Exercise details

  • Target: Latissimus Dorsi
  • Synergists: Brachialis, Brachioradialis, Biceps Brachii, Pectoralis Minor, Teres Major, Posterior Deltoid, Infraspinatus, Rhomboids, Teres Minor, Middle and Lower Trapezius, Levator Scapulae
  • Dynamic stabilizer: Triceps Brachii (long head only)
  • Mechanics: Compound
  • Force: Pull

Starting position

  1. Wrap a loaded dip belt around your waist securely. The weight plate should be hanging between your legs when you stand.
  2. Grasp the bar with an overhand (pronated) grip that is a little wider than shoulder width.
  3. Hang from the bar, with your arms and shoulders fully extended.


  1. Exhale as you pull your body up until your chin is above the bar.
  2. Hold for a count of two and squeeze your back muscles.
  3. Inhale as you lower yourself back to the starting position, with your shoulders and arms fully extended.  
  4. Repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions.

Comments and tips

  • Pull with your elbows, not with your biceps.
  • If you do not have access to a dip belt, you may perform the weighted pull-up with a dumbbell held between your feet.
  • The weighted pull-up is an advanced exercise. You must gradually build your strength to get to the point where you can perform the exercise. Be sure that you have first mastered the pull-up. If you are having difficulty performing the pull-up, consider building your strength using the machine-assisted pull-up.
  • The weighted pull-up is a major compound vertical pulling exercise. While it targets the latissimus dorsi, it recruits several other upper-body muscles as synergists. Thus, this exercise is great for developing upper-body size and strength.
  • You may also look into the close neutral-grip pull-up and the self-assisted pull-up.
  • For advanced exercises, try the weighted close neutral-grip pull-up.

Weighted pull-up video


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