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Archer Pull Up [Exercise Guide]

archer pull up

What Is An Archer Pull Up

The archer pull up is an advanced pull up variation that involves pulling the weight with 1 arm while the other one remains straight and only assists with the motion. It’s an amazing back exercise that is not for beginners.

This exercise’s trajectory implies a weight transition from one arm to another. That’s why the archer pull-up allows the lifter to focus on one lat at a time.

What Muscles Does Archer Pull Up Work

The archer pull up works the following muscle groups:

  • lats
  • traps
  • biceps
  • forearms
  • rear delts
  • middle back

Since archer pull up is a pull up variation, it works the same muscles as a regular pull up, except that the work is being primarily done by 1 arm.

How to Perform Archer Pull Up

Step 1. Get into the starting position

Grab the pull-up bar using an overhand grip. Your thumbs should go over the bar. The grip is crucial nuance here because it is responsible for the available range of motion. Maintain shoulder-width distance between your hands. The wider you go, the more challenging the exercise will be. Keep your legs straight.

Step 2. Pull yourself to the chin with one arm

Draw yourself up and to the left until your right arm is parallel to the ground. The goal is to pull up diagonally towards the working arm with the opposite arm transitioning on the bar’s top. Maintain your core maximally engaged throughout the whole motion.

Step 3. Switch arms

Return to the starting position and repeat with the opposing arm. Do as many reps as possible, focusing on a proper form.

What Equipment Can Be Used To Do An Archer Pull Up?

A pull up bar is the only piece of archer pull-up equipment that you truly need to do the exercise. However, there are many alternatives that you may try with other equipment pieces. For instance, you can also use gymastic rings to practice the movement.

Archer Pull Up Progression 

Archer pull-up is a challenging exercise. Don’t blame yourself if you can’t do it at once. You’ll be performing archer pull-ups in no time if you follow the instructions below!

The first step towards achieving the goal is to assess your capabilities objectively. Use chest-to-bar pull-ups to measure your strength and prepare for the next level. If you can’t do this exercise at least 6-8 times, you’re not ready to move to archer pull-up.

Have you mastered the technique of chest-to-bar pull-ups perfectly and can do several reps? Practice exercise called typewriter pull-ups. The ability to perform this movement will mean that you have perfectly developed one arm pulling strength.

Then, you can work on developing your forearms and wrists and strengthening your grip by practicing archer pull up with gymnastics rings. For that purpose, do the following. When your chin is over the ring, and your arm is bent, transition your grip from the pronated ending to the supinated one.

Once you are done with all three exercises mentioned above, you are 100% ready for archer pull-ups.

4 Archer Pull Up Alternatives

1. Typewriter Pull Up

The typewriter pull up combines the intense muscle engagement of chest-to-bar pull-ups with unilateral power improvement and developing the balance.

How to do typewriter pull up:

  • Go pretty wide on a pull-up bar with your hands. Keep your thumbs over the bar.
  • Pull up on the right arm, leaving another one straight. To perform this part correctly, think of it as the one-arm pull-up.
  • Turn your left hand such that the palm is on top of the bar. Maintain your position above the bar by keeping your right arm tight. To keep oneself upright, lean on the bar.
  • Slide to your left side, straightening your right arm.
  • Move your chest to the middle, and transition your body weight to the right, straightening the left arm.

2. Around The World Pull Up 

This exercise increases the duration spent under strain at the peak of each rep while simultaneously putting more tension on each arm.

How to do Around the world pull up:

  • Hang from the bar, grabbing it with a wider than shoulder-width grip.
  • Pull yourself up and right, initiating the move by contracting your lats.
  • Move back towards the center of the bar. Then, continue leftward, aiming for the circular motion. You’re done when you are at the center with your arms extended.

3. Wide Grip Pull Up

Pull-ups performed with a wide grip engage the pecs and teres minor muscles, resulting in a more chiseled upper chest. In addition, it helps to strengthen the grip.

How to do wide-grip pull-ups:

  • Approach the bar and grab it with a wide grip.
  • Elevate the chest and pull up, feeling your lats contract. Keep your body straight and tight.
  • Keep your elbows pointed to the sides and maintain a wide hand position on the bar.
  • Go down to the starting position.

4. Single-Arm Inverted Row

Practicing a single-arm inverted row builds back, biceps, forearms, and shoulder muscles. One more benefit is achieving muscle balance on both sides of the body. 

How to do single-arm inverted row:

  • Set your bar to the height so that your body doesn’t touch the floor when you hang off it. 
  • Lie on your back under the bar. Put one of your hands on the bar, and leave the other resting on your torso.
  • The hips should be elevated off the ground, knees bent so your legs are squared, and feet stand firmly on the floor.
  • Pull up until your chin is over the bar. Make a little pause at the movement’s top.
  • Go down.


Archer pull-up is a challenging exercise that can be a hallmark of your strength. It strengthens lats, biceps, forearms, and shoulders to the maximum by increasing the time under tension. Also, the move requires your upper body to work in harmony and improves your balance. 

The movement’s technique may be tricky if you are not an advanced athlete yet. The good news is that there are many exercises you can use to progress towards the archer pullup: standard pull-ups and typewriter pull-ups can help you work your way up to the archer pull-up and achieve your workout goals.