Australian Pull Up Exercise – Benefits, Alternatives, Different Grips

Australian Pull Up inverted
(Last Updated On: January 11, 2022)

The Australian pull up or horizontal pull-ups is a relatively similar exercise and is popularly known to people as the standard pull-up or chin-up.

It’s another substitution and upgrade version to standard pull-ups, but the Australian pull-up is very simple and effective while performing pull ups, once you position yourself “under” the bar (on horizontal position) to ensure you hit more muscles, as your mid-back muscles from an angle which isn’t like a traditional pull-up exercise.

In this post, I will guide you through the steps of Australian pull-up exercises the right way, how to do it at home without equipment? The Benefits of performing the pull-ups, an overview of other exercise alternatives and variations, and the different grips that can be used during a workout.


The Australian Pull up Overview

The Australian Pull Up is an upper body muscle building exercise that uses your body weight to resistance gravity while performing.

Here, when the person dangles below the bar with straight torso and legs, which should be above waist height with the heels touching directly on the floor, they will end up with their torso at a 45-degree angle to the floor, which would be roughly the same as a push-up position but upside down.

Once in this position, you can strengthen the body as you pull the chest forward onto the bar. Although you need to be very careful, don’t bend the hips or shrug the shoulders, and once the chest is two inches away from the bar, give a short pause and a little more control, at the lower back.

This exercise has a completely different level of movement and works the muscles from a different angle. Angles are different from standard pull-ups or even chin-ups that hit a different wider side of your muscles, which are in the middle of the back, with the biceps, abs, and also the upper back.

A full description of the Australian Pull up is provided below to ensure complete details of the exercise, and the required steps.


Why is it called the Australian Pull up?

The exercise is called by this name, because the person performing the routine will be at the underneath of the bar and try to pull the body towards it, In Australia it is common to have stuff or exercises practiced upside down, in fact the official name of the exercise is called inverted rows, which is an upside down push-up, but in an Australian style.

The exercise can easily be used to learn balance during exercise or while trying to build and tone muscles and improve strength using traditional methods.

All you need is to decide which equipment can be used and leave the rest. Barbell, squat stand, Ring rows (more challenging), can all be used to perform this pull-up exercise.


Australian Pull Up Exercise Step by Step

Australian Pull Up inverted steps

To perform the Australian pull-up, start by locating the horizontal bar (fixed position) and holding it at a height of 1.5 times the length of the arm above ground level, then start the next step-by-step exercise:

  1. Place your body under the bar, to be in a straight horizontal position, ensure you have a soft blanket or a mat under you to comfort your body.
  2. Next, extend the arms, with a steady hand, grab the bar with both hands with supinated grip, at shoulder width apart, emphasizing the need for to position body correctly and making sure that the horizontal bar is at chest level.
  3. Keep the neck, head, torso, feet and legs in one line by proper spine alignment.
  4. Use the feet as a focal point. Make sure the feet are closed or extended according to the desired stability of the body. It is common to use close feet.
  5. Then, while inhaling pull the body up towards the bar, until the chest touches the bar, your heels will be a fulcrum on the floor at a 45 degree angle.
  6. Next, lower the body back down toward the starting position as you exhale.
  7. And that’s it. Simply repeat the steps pulling the bar up and down five to six times for the daily routine.


Australian pull up muscles worked

There are several major and minor muscles that are worked during the Australian pull-up exercise. The main load falls on the latissimus dorsi and biceps brachii, as well as other muscles that are involved in the case of using different grips during the exercise, the infraspinatus muscles located at the back of your shoulder, the trapezius muscles (for the reverse grip), the rhomboid muscles, teres major, brachialis and back spine.

The main muscles that work are the upper back, shoulders, and arms. Even abdominal muscles work to strengthen and sculpt the abdominal muscles better and maintain good posture. The rest of the other muscles contribute less.


Australian Pull Ups Benefits

Some of the benefits associated with the Australian pull-up workout are:

  1. Improve body posture
  2. Helps to strengthen and expand the muscles of Trapezius and Latissimus Dorsi
  3. Shoulder problems can be reduced by using this exercise
  4. It can build better and bigger biceps
  5. Improve gripping strength and endurance
  6. Helps develop one look cool



How to do Australian pull ups at Home?

Australian pull-ups can be easily done at home. Being in the gym is not necessary, but it does require you to be very careful while performing to avoid chances of injury.

There are two ways to perform the exercise at home in case you don’t have a bar:

A) Before you begin, find a thick dowel made of a durable material such as metal or even wood. Just make sure the item chosen is strong enough to withstand your weight.

Once you find it, simply stick the dowel across the chairs or stools that will be a replacement for the bar (be sure to keep a well height from the ground). Make sure the bar is sturdy, and before you exercise it would be a good idea to test it by pulling on it a little bit more forcefully.

This will ensure that you do not fall or get hurt with the dowel having a break or sliding during the exercise. Then simply follow the steps of the exercise movements above.


B) If plan A is hard to achieve, you can replace it with bringing a long towel or resistance band, then at the height of the door handles, twist/attach them to the door handles, keeping both ends hanging so you can grab them with both hands later.

Next step When the door with the straps on the handles is half-opened, place a carpet or a workout mat under the door to secure the door and make sure it doesn’t move while you perform the exercise.

Begin the exercise, by grasping the two hanging ends of the towel tightly with both hands, with your feet resting on the mat placed under the door.

Then sit in a sitting position, lean your knees back at an angle of 45 degrees, and start straight and extend your arms completely, then start now to pull the arm back while keeping the elbow close to the body and let the chest forward towards the door handles, like a rowing motion, then return the step by extending the arms and repeat the movement.

If you feel that the routine is easy for you, the same exercise can be done difficult using one arm to pull up, in order to increase the level of difficulty and challenge, by holding the two ends of the towel with one hand (the same can also work with the bar), then start the exercise By following the same steps, once the iterations are finished. Switch to another hand and repeat.

Australian Pull Up using towels wrap on doorknob

Now if all is set, have a great time working out from the comfort of home.


Australian pull up Alternative & Grips

There are some alternative for Australian pull-ups exercise that can be perform at home, also I add pull up alternative no equipment, as follows:

  • Bodyweight Row using home table: Lie under a well sturdy desk or table, grab the edge of one end of the table with both hands, while aligning your body under it, and begin the exercise.
  • Door Towel Row: Begin by pulling on the door handle with a towel attached to it, follow the steps as outlined above, may initially require more basic body control during exercise.
  • Pole Towel Row: If you have a sturdy pole, you can use it in place of a doorknob, by wrapping the towel around the pole and holding the two ends with your hands, then start pulling and then releasing.
  • Dumbbell Lats Pull down: This exercise is pull up alternative with dumbbells that will be performed while your standing straight, hold a pair of dumbbells on each hand as a hammer grip, then begin to raise your hands to the sides above your head, then lower them again to the level of the shoulders while slightly bend your elbows, then repeat. It works for biceps, shoulders and back muscles.

In addition, you can use the Barbells and Resistance Stretch Band to continue your training and ensure a better workout.


Furthermore, you can use the pull-up exercise with different hand positions and techniques, just by changing the grip width of your fist to adjust the challenge, either a close grip, a normal shoulder width or wider than the shoulders.

Another alternative grasp type you can use best pull up grip which is pronated grip, commonly used and the supinated (reverse grip) with the bar while exercise, each time you change grip you actually hit another side of the muscles of your arms and back.



In order to increase muscle growth, you need to make sure that you perform what you have learned in Australian pull-ups that have positive effects on your core body. Get excellent rewards with this method of exercise.

Their is a variety of muscles worked while performing the Australian pullup, which includes the biceps, back, rear shoulders, and the trap muscle. But before you start, make sure that you do the correct steps for the exercise, and that you are confident in performing the inverted rowing, otherwise it will do more harm to the body than showing positive signs of muscle strength.

In addition, in the article we mentioned alternative exercises for Australian pullup that can also be practiced at home such as using dumbbells, or without tools such as using a towel or body weights.

I hope the above information guide and tips will help you diversify your workout routine and have a great workout experience.


2 thoughts on “Australian Pull Up Exercise – Benefits, Alternatives, Different Grips

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