Chest Workout On Pull up Bar: 5 Best Exercises

We know that bench presses and push-ups are the best exercises for training the chest.

But they are not enough. Sometimes, we need new exercises to train the chest. Here, you can shape your chest with a pull-up bar.

The pull-up bar is a versatile tool for targeting your chest muscles from different angles.

One of the best things about pull-up bar exercises is that they work the chest and secondary muscle groups, such as the shoulders and triceps.

In this blog post, I’ll share five of my favorite pull-up bar chest exercises.

Let’s get started.

5 Pull-Up Bar Exercises For Chest

These 5 pull-up bar exercises target your entire midsection, blasting both those six-pack muscles and your side abs (obliques)

1. Close Grip Chin Up

The close-grip chin-up is a variation of the traditional pull-up exercise, but it uses a narrower grip with your palms facing toward you (underhand/supinated grip).

When the hand is close to the body and pulls up, it emphasizes the chest muscles more than the back.

Chin Up

How To Do It

  1. Grip the pull-up bar with your palms facing toward you and use a narrow grip.
  2. Hang from the bar with your arms fully extended and shoulders pulled down and back.
  3. Engage your core and keep your body straight from your head to your heels.
  4. Pull your body up towards the bar by flexing your elbows and bringing your chest towards the bar.
  5. Keep your elbows close to your body as you pull yourself up.
  6. Once your chin is above the bar, hold for a moment and lower yourself slowly.

2. Muscle-Up

The muscle-up is a gymnastics-inspired exercise and a true test of strength and coordination. It’s a combination of two foundational movements:

  1. The Pull-Up: You start by pulling yourself up to the bar, just like a standard pull-up.
  2. The Dip: Once your chest reaches bar height, you transition into a dip-like motion, pressing yourself up and over the bar.

Muscle-ups build strength throughout the back, shoulders, chest, triceps, and biceps—essentially, the entire upper body.


How To Do It

  1. You can choose between a false grip (your thumbs are not wrapped around the bar) and a full grip on the pull-up bar.
  2. Your hands should be shoulder-width apart or slightly wider.
  3. Hang with arms extended, legs straight and together, and core fully engaged.
  4. Pull yourself upwards quickly and powerfully, using your back and arms. As you pull, let your legs swing forward slightly and lean back.
  5. Continue to pull until your chest is above the bar. Now, lean forward and quickly push your upper body forward.
  6. Straighten your arms like you’re finishing a dip, with your shoulders slightly ahead of the bar.
  7. Slowly lower by bending your elbows and moving your chest back towards the bar.
  8. Let your legs swing forward again as you reach the bar with your chest.
  9. Lower yourself back to the starting position.

3. Archer Pull-Ups

The archer pull-up reduces the role of your back muscles in moving your weight up. Your chest muscles must work harder to overcome the reduced help to complete the pull.

The shift to one side and extension of the increased range of motion put more strain on chest muscle fibers, such as the chest fly.

Archer Pull Up

How To Do It

  1. Grab the pull-up bar with an overhand grip.
  2. Position one hand slightly wider than shoulder-width and the other hand closer to your body.
  3. Pull yourself upwards with the wider grip arm.
  4. As you pull, slightly twist and shift your weight towards the bent arm.
  5. Aim to get your chin above the bar on the side of the bent arm.
  6. Your fully extended arm may open slightly and roll over the bar. Imagine yourself drawing a bow and arrow with your body as the bow.
  7. Slowly lower yourself back down, maintaining the archer position as long as possible.
  8. After completing reps on one side, switch arm positions and repeat the movement on the other side.

4. Chest-To-Bar Pull-Ups

In a chest-to-bar pull-up, instead of stopping when your chin clears the bar, you continue pulling until your chest touches the pull-up bar.

This increased range of motion significantly increases the difficulty and places greater emphasis on the chest and shoulder muscles.

If you are new to pull-ups, it is recommended to start with standard pull-ups and other progressions before you try chest-to-bar variations.

Chest-To-Bar Pull-Ups

How To Do It

  1. Grip the pull-up bar with a shoulder-width or slightly wider grip.
  2. Hang from a pull-up bar with your arms fully extended.
  3. Pull yourself up towards the bar by bending your elbows and pulling your chest towards the bar.
  4. Continue to pull until your chest touches the bar or comes very close to it.
  5. With control, lower yourself back down to the starting position.

5. Pull Up Bar Chest Exercises With Band

If you have a resistance band, you can do a chest workout with it.

Resistance bands are portable, affordable, and give you more tension than free weights. This means you can exercise your chest muscles in new ways.

Each exercise can be adjusted to meet your requirements and provides constant tension on the chest muscles throughout the entire range of motion.

  • Band Chest Press: They are multijoint exercises, which primarily focus on the chest muscle but also train the deltoid and the tricep.
  • Band Chest Flyes: These are like a supercharged version of the dumbbell fly. Target the chest muscles from a different angle than traditional flyes. This exercise can be performed with both arms simultaneously or one arm at a time to further isolate the chest muscles.
  • Pullovers: This smooth motion effectively engages your chest and back muscles.
Standing Band Chest Press

The best part? You control the resistance by choosing the right band.

Don’t forget to use good form, really squeezing your chest on every rep.

Pull-Up Bar Chest Workout Routine


ExerciseSetsRepsRest Time
Close-Grip Pull-Ups38-1060-90 sec
Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups38-1060-90 sec


ExerciseSetsRepsRest Time
Archer Pull-Ups3-46-8 each side60-90 sec
Muscle-Ups3-46-860-90 sec
Close-Grip Pull-Ups3-46-860-90 sec


Now that you have a comprehensive list of pull-up bar chest exercises, you can start using them.

Try incorporating different variations to keep your pull-up bar chest workouts fresh, exciting, and continuously challenging.

And the best part?

You can progress from basic exercises to more advanced moves.

Pick a few chest exercises from this arsenal that interest you and try them this week. Mix and match for a complete upper-body workout.

Leave a comment below and tell us about your experience.


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  • Davies G, Riemann BL, Manske R. CURRENT CONCEPTS OF PLYOMETRIC EXERCISE. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2015;10(6):760-786.
  • Hewit JK, Jaffe DA, Crowder T. A comparison of muscle activation during the pull-up and three alternative pulling exercises. J. Phys. Fitness, Med. Treat. Sport. 2018;5(4):1-7.

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