7 Home Gym Pull Accessory Exercises

by Chris | 2021-05-01

Following a workout routine like PPL or 5/3/1 involves finding pull accessory exercises as secondary movements after you finish your main worksets. If you're in a home gym, you need to find exercises that you can do with equipment available. A home gym likely doesn't include machines, so you need to find exercises that are either purely bodyweight exercises or use the dumbbells and barbells that you might have available. If you're looking for push exercises, check out our list of 7 home gym push accessory exercises. In a similar way, if you're looking for pull accessory exercises, consider using some of the following examples.


If you've got something that is a solid bar above your head, then pull-ups are a great accessory exercise for the home gym. You might have a standalone pull-up tower, a crossbar above your weight rack, or even a door-mounted pull-up bar. Pull-ups are done with your palms facing away from you, which is more challenging than chin-ups but helps build some slightly different arm muscles. I find that keeping your reps lower than your max for each set helps you do more total reps in consecutive sets. This makes it easier to spread out the sets throughout your workout in between other sets of exercises.


A chin-up is similar to the pull-up, with the exception that the chin-up is done with your palms facing you. This is a slightly easier variation, so you should be able to do more in a chin-up set than a pull-up set. If you're unable to do one chin-up, try jumping up and lowering yourself as slowly as possible to build up your lats and biceps. If you have bands, you can also use the bands as assistance until you can lift your own bodyweight. If you're able to do more than 10 chin-ups in a set with no problems, try adding a dumbbell between your feet or a weighted vest.

Bent Over Row

If you have a barbell, doing bent-over barbell rows are great for building your back muscles and biceps. The Pendlay variation involves starting from the floor, which is great if you have bumper plates available in your home gym. I like supersetting standing bent-over rows with bench press, since you can likely use the same weight for each exercise and get some extra back volume in during your main bench press sets. This also is less setup time, since you can just stand up from the bench press and lift the bar off the hooks while standing over the bench.


Whenever I do bench press as a superset with bent-over rows, I always stand up after the rows to do a set of shrugs with the same weight. This helps add to your traps and shoulders, which carries over to many other compound lifts. If you've got dumbbells, you can also do shrugs with the weight at your side in order to hit your traps at a slightly different angle. Consider doing light weights with slower reps and holding the shrug at the top, as well as heavier weights with a little bit of body movement in order to get a mix of working weights in.


If you're already doing some other compound pull exercises, then isolating the biceps can really help grow your arms. If you've got an EZ-bar it will help keep your forearms from getting too sore, but a straight bar or dumbbells will work great as well. There's a lot of variations in arm angle that you can try, so see what works best for you to really feel it in your biceps.

Band Pull Aparts

Bands have become a popular addition to home gyms, and one of the best uses I've found is band pull-aparts. Focus should be on keeping your arms straight throughout the whole movements, which really helps hit your rear delts and upper back. You can also mix these up by doing some with your palms down and hands straight out, and some with your palms up and your hands at an angle above your head. I like to add in sets of these in between main work sets since they don't really tax you all that much. If you've got a cable setup, you can also do face pulls to get a similar result.

One Arm Row

A home gym with a flat bench and dumbbells will allow for one arm rows. This is a great back and biceps exercise for your pull accessories. While most exercises should have strict form, I've found that overloading these so you really have to put more of your body into it can be great for getting full extension and contraction of your lats. Consider trying the 'Kroc row' style if you're doing these at the end of your workout.