7 Perfect Pull Day Warm Up Exercises

Before diving into a workout routine, it’s crucial to properly warm up your body to prevent injuries and optimize performance. When it comes to pull day workouts, which target muscles like the back, biceps, and shoulders, including specific pull day warm up exercises is important to prepare those muscle groups for the upcoming load. In this article, we’ll explore seven perfect warm up exercises tailored for pull day workouts.

Dynamic Stretching 

Dynamic stretching involves moving parts of your body through a full range of motion to increase blood flow and flexibility. Here are three dynamic stretches ideal for warming up before a pull day:

Arm Circles

  • Arm circles are an effective dynamic stretching exercise that targets the shoulders, arms, and upper back. 
  • To perform arm circles, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and extend your arms out to the sides at shoulder height. 
  • Using your arms, make little circles that become gradually bigger. 
  • This movement helps to increase blood flow to the shoulder joints and improve flexibility, making it an excellent warm-up exercise before engaging in upper body workouts.
Pull Day Warm Up

Arm Circles

Leg Swings

  • Leg swings are dynamic stretching exercises that target the hip flexors, hamstrings, and quadriceps. 
  • To perform leg swings, stand upright and hold onto a stable surface for support. 
  • Swing one leg forward and backward in a controlled manner, slowly increasing the range of motion. 
  • Repeat the movement with the other leg. 
  • Leg swings help to improve flexibility, increase blood flow to the muscles, and prepare the lower body for more intense physical activity like  running or weightlifting.

Shoulder Rotations

  • Shoulder rotations involve moving the shoulders in circular motions to increase mobility and flexibility in the shoulder joints. 
  • To perform shoulder rotations, stand tall with your arms extended out to the sides at shoulder height. 
  • Begin by making small circles with your shoulders, slowly increasing the size of the circles. 
  • Rotate in both clockwise and counterclockwise directions to target different muscles around the shoulders. 
  • This exercise helps to warm up the shoulders and prevent stiffness before engaging in upper body workouts.

Joint Mobilization

Joint mobilization exercises help improve joint flexibility and reduce stiffness. Here are three joint mobilization exercises to include into your pull day warm up routine:

Neck Rolls

  • Neck rolls are gentle exercises that help release tension and improve flexibility in the neck muscles. 
  • To perform neck rolls, sit or stand in a comfortable position with your spine straight. 
  • Slowly tilt your head to one side, allowing your ear to move towards your shoulder. 
  • From there, gently roll your head in a circular motion, moving from one side to the other. 
  • This exercise can help relieve neck stiffness and promote relaxation.

Wrist Circles

  • Wrist circles are effective exercise to improve wrist flexibility and mobility. 
  • To perform wrist circles, extend your arms in front of you with palms facing down. 
  • Begin by making circular motions with your wrists, slowly increasing the size of the circles. 
  • Rotate in both clockwise and counterclockwise directions to target different wrist muscles. 
  • This exercise helps to warm up the wrists and reduce the risk of injuries during activities that need wrist movement, such as typing or weightlifting.

Ankle Circles

  • Ankle circles are beneficial exercises for improving ankle mobility and flexibility. 
  • To perform ankle circles, sit or stand with one foot lifted off the ground. 
  • Begin by rotating your ankle in a circular motion, first clockwise and then counterclockwise. 
  • Focus on making smooth and controlled movements to target the ankle joints effectively. 
  • Ankle circles help to increase blood flow, reduce stiffness, and improve range of motion, making them ideal warm-up exercises before physical activities like running or sports.

Activation Exercises

Activation exercises help activate the muscles you’ll be targeting during your pull day workout, ensuring they are firing properly. Here are two activation exercises to include in your pull day warm up routine:

Band Pull-Aparts

  • Band pull-aparts are excellent exercises for strengthening the muscles of the upper back and shoulders. 
  • To perform band pull-aparts, hold a resistance band with both hands at shoulder-width apart. 
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades together while maintaining a straight arm position and pulling the band apart.  
  • Focus on maintaining tension in the band throughout the movement. 
  • Band pull-aparts are effective for improving posture, shoulder stability, and overall upper body strength. 
  • They can be included in warm-up routines or part of a strength training program.

Scapular Push-Ups

  • Scapular push-ups are effective exercises for improving scapular mobility and strengthening the muscles around the shoulder blades. 
  • To perform scapular push-ups, start in a high plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders. 
  • Lower your chest towards the ground while protecting your shoulder blades, then push back up to the starting position. 
  • Throughout the exercise, pay close attention to pulling your shoulder blades in and out. 
  • Scapular push-ups help improve shoulder stability and prevent injuries during upper body exercises.

Specific Warm Up Sets

Before jumping into heavy lifting, it’s important to perform specific pull day warm up sets with lighter weights to prepare your muscles and nervous system. Here are two warm up sets for common pull day exercises:


  • Pull-ups are compound exercises that primarily target the muscles of the back, arms, and shoulders. 
  • To perform a pull-up, grip an overhead bar with hands shoulder-width apart, palms facing away from you. 
  • Hang with arms fully extended, then pull yourself up until your chin clears the bar. 
  • Lower yourself back down with control. 
  • Pull-ups are effective for building upper body strength and improving overall body composition. 
  • They can be challenging but are worth mastering for their many benefits.
Pull Day Warm Up


  • Rows are effective compound exercises that target the muscles of the upper back, including the latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, and traps. 
  • To perform rows, stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding a weight in each hand. 
  • Keeping your back level, bend your knees slightly and move your hips forward. 
  • Pull the weights towards your torso, squeezing your shoulder blades together, then lower them back down with control. 
  • Rows help improve posture, strengthen the back muscles, and improve overall upper body strength.

Core Activation

A strong core is important for maintaining proper form during pull day exercises. Include these two core activation exercises into your pull day warm up routine:


  • Planks are fundamental core-strengthening exercises that engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously. 
  • To perform a plank, start in a push-up position with your elbows bent and resting on the ground, and your body forming a straight line from head to heels. 
  • Engage your core muscles to maintain this position for as long as possible, focusing on keeping your hips level and avoiding sagging or arching. 
  • Planks help improve core stability, posture, and overall functional strength.
Pull Day Warm Up

Bird Dogs

  • Bird dogs are dynamic exercises that target the core, lower back, and glutes. 
  • Start on your hands and knees, placing your knees behind your hips and your wrists firmly under your shoulders. 
  • Extend one arm forward and the opposite leg backward while maintaining a stable core. 
  • After a brief moment of holding, switch sides and go back to the beginning position. 
  • Bird dogs help improve balance, stability, and overall core strength, making them an excellent addition to the workout routine.

Foam Rolling

Foam rolling can help release tension in tight muscles and improve mobility. Focus on rolling out these two areas before your pull day workout:

Upper Back

  • Upper back foam rolling is an effective technique for releasing tension and tightness in the muscles of the upper back.
  • Place a foam roller horizontally under your upper back while lying on your back. 
  • Lift your hips off the ground and slowly roll from the base of your neck to the middle of your back. 
  • Concentrate on the tight spots and apply little pressure there. 
  • Foam rolling the upper back can help alleviate stiffness and improve mobility in this area.


  • Foam rolling the lats is a beneficial practice for reducing tightness and promoting flexibility in the muscles of the back. 
  • Lie on your side with the foam roller positioned under your armpit and the arm of the side you’re rolling extended overhead. 
  • Roll from just below the armpit to the bottom of your ribcage, focusing on areas of tension. 
  • Foam rolling the lats can help alleviate discomfort and improve range of motion in movements involving the shoulders and upper body.

Cool Down Stretches

After completing your pull day workout, it’s important to stretch out the muscles you’ve worked to prevent stiffness and reduce the risk of injury. Here are two cool down stretches to include in your post-workout routine:

Chest Opener Stretch

  • The chest opener stretch is a beneficial exercise for releasing tension in the chest and shoulders while improving posture. 
  • With your arms out to the sides at shoulder height, take a tall stance. 
  • Gently squeeze your shoulder blades together as you bring your arms behind your back. 
  • Hold this position for 15-30 seconds, feeling a stretch across the chest and shoulders. 
  • The chest opener stretch can help counteract the effects of slouching and sitting for extended periods, promoting better alignment and flexibility.

Shoulder Stretch

  • The shoulder stretch is also an effective exercise for relieving tension and increasing flexibility in the shoulders. 
  • To perform the stretch, stand or sit with your back straight. 
  • Reach one arm across your body and use your opposite hand to gently press the arm closer to your chest. 
  • Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds, feeling a gentle stretch in the shoulder and upper back. 
  • Repeat on the other side. Shoulder stretches can help improve mobility and reduce discomfort in the shoulders.


Including the right pull day warm up exercises into your workout routine can help optimize your performance, prevent injuries, and improve overall workout effectiveness. By including dynamic stretches, joint mobilization exercises, activation drills, specific pull day warm up sets, core activation exercises, foam rolling, and cool down stretches, you’ll ensure that your body is properly prepared for the demands of your pull day workout.


Q. How long should I spend on pull day warm up exercises before a workout?

It’s recommended to spend around 10-15 minutes on pull day warm up exercises before starting your workout routine.

Q. Can I skip pull day warm up exercises if I’m short on time?

While it’s not ideal, you can shorten your pull day warm up routine by focusing on the most essential exercises, like dynamic stretches and joint mobilization drills.

Q. Should I perform warm up sets for every exercise on pull day?

It’s advisable to perform pull day warm up sets for compound exercises like pull-ups and rows, but you can skip them for isolation exercises if you’re short on time.

Q. Can I use a foam roller as part of my pull day warm up routine?

Yes, foam rolling can be included into your pull day warm up routine to help release muscle tension and improve mobility.

Q. How important are cool down stretches after a pull day workout?

Cool down stretches are important for promoting muscle recovery, reducing stiffness, and preventing injury after a pull day workout.

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