7 Important Exercises to Improve Pulling Strength for Athletes

7 ways to improve your pulling strength for Crossfit, weightlifting and other sports.

During an excellent gymnastics seminar with Kari Pearce recently at Argo Athletics in Berlin, the question of pulling strength in CrossFit came up. Kari has over 18 years of gymnastic experience as well as a bodybuilding background, so she is exceptionally experienced in regards to this topic.

Often her strength work is programmed into pushing and pulling days in order to isolate and target these aspects of her fitness. The push/pull split is fairly common in bodybuilding and strength programs, but it was interesting to hear how this top Games Athlete has this same method added into her programming for CrossFit.

However you train, pulling strength is vital. Whether that means gymnastic movements, traditional compound strength lifts or other accessory exercises, add these pulling strength movements into your training and improve your all round abilities as an athlete.

Ring Rows

The Ring Row is a movement which builds strength for the pull up. You can also use it build positional strength in the shoulders by performing the Row in a globally extended position to force the shoulders back into a proper, externally rotated position.

Supinated Wide Grip Pull Up

“Flexibility and mobility tester! Getting into a supinated wide grip position will challenge your shoulder flexibility a ton. Start narrow and work up to a wider grip. Functional bodybuilding can be used to develop range of motion as well as strength. Case in point.”

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About The Author

Editor-In-Chief at BOXROX. I come from a background of rugby and weightlifting. Growing up in the English Lake District, I spent a great deal of time swimming in its stunning lakes and rivers. In 2015 my brothers and I became the first people to swim the 145km length of the River Eden, from source to mouth, in 9 days. We also swam the Corryvreckan whirlpool, the third largest in the world, and Crossfit is a huge part of my training for these events.


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