Skip to content

Australian Pull-Up [Exercise Guide]

Australian Pull-Up

What Is Australian Pull-Up

The Australian pull-up is a calisthenics move focusing on developing pulling power in the upper body. One more name for this exercise is the inverted row. It is an excellent stepping stone for those who have yet to attempt a pull-up. 

This workout requires the athlete to lay on their back with their arms extended and heels on the ground. As a result, one lifts less body weight compared to the conventional pull-up. However, back, shoulders and arms muscles will be developed since this exercise follows the same movement pattern as the pull-up. You may use gymnastic rings or the bar to perform the movement.

What Muscles Does Australian Pull-Up Work

The exercise mainly targets the muscles in your upper body, including:

  • posterior deltoid
  • lats
  • biceps
  • medium and lower trapezium

Australian pull-up secondary involves lower body muscles. We talk about hamstrings and glutes.

How To Perform An Australian Pull Up

Step 1. Get into the starting position

Get started by suspending yourself beneath a low bar. You want to hang from the bar without touching the floor. So make sure it’s not too high. Keep your body straight with both feet flat on the floor. The best option is to either set something on the ground to use as a foothold or to ask for assistance.

Step 2. Grab the bar

It’s time to grab the bar. The grip may range from near to broad, with the standard slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. 

Step 3. Pull up

Ascend until your chin touches the bar. Aim for the maximal range of motion. The bar should rest in the lower area of your chest at the peak of the action. Don’t slack off and bend your wrists. You should only be touching the floor with your heels. Keep your back neutral and your body in a straight plank stance.

Step 4. Return to the start

Slowly lower your body to the starting position.

Important! Altering the height of the bar from which you’re working out might make the workout easier or tougher, depending on your preference. The exercise becomes exponentially more challenging if you raise your feet over the height of the bar.

Australian Pull-Up Alternatives

1. Kettlebell Row

The kettlebell row is great for isolating and focusing on the back muscles. Kettlebell training is convenient since it doesn’t need pricey gym gear. Standard kettlebells are all you need for great exercise. This workout strengthens the muscles in the upper body, improves posture, and boosts metabolism.

How to do a Kettlebell row:

  • With your legs spread shoulder-width apart, crouch down and place the kettlebell between your thighs.
  • When rowing with kettlebells, you may use whatever grip you choose. Your palms facing you will increase the workload on your lats and lower traps. Hands facing behind and away from the body may focus on the upper traps, posterior deltoids, and rhomboids.
  • Raise the kettlebell to your chest. Initiate the move by bringing your elbows back and bending them.
  • Wait a moment and return to the beginning with your arms at full extension.

2. Chest-Supported Row 

You’ll need dumbbells and an incline bench to do the chest-supported row. This movement strengthens the rhomboids and upper and middle back muscles. The exercise reminds a bent-over row in terms of form. The burden on the spine is reduced thanks to the support provided in the chest area.

How to do a Chest supported row:

  • Ensure your incline bench has a correct angle of 30-45 degrees. Take the dumbbells and go down on your tummy, keeping your head up.
  • Raise the weights by bending at the elbows. As you raise your arms, you should feel a contraction in your lats and middle back. 
  • Pull your shoulder blades together and keep your elbows tight to your body as you start the action.
  • Carefully and deliberately return your hands to the starting position. Keep your elbows in line with your shoulders the whole time.

3. Bird Dog Row 

Bird dog rows include getting into a quadruped stance with one leg extended behind you and pulling a weight toward your body. Parts of the workout include the bird dog and the single-arm row. The combination of these two moves makes for an effective routine. Its adaptability is beyond praise. It may be used in various programs for a wide range of health advantages.

How to do a Bird Dog row:

  • Get down on an exercise mat or bench.
  • While your right leg is being raised until it is perpendicular to your back, your left hand should grab the weight. A leg extension is what you’ll be performing. Keep the outstretched leg as straight as possible.
  • As you lift the weight, maintain the aforementioned posture by contracting your abs, glutes, and hamstrings.
  • Slowly lower the weights and repeat the set for the designated number of repetitions.

4. Humble Row 

The humble row is a dumbbell chest press in its most fundamental form. The exercise loads rear delts, traps, rhomboids, and lats. The targeted muscles are worked more in this workout because of the way the wrists and elbows are positioned.

How to do a Humble row:

  • Set up a bench at an inclination of 30 to 45 degrees. Pick the values for the weights.
  • Lie on a bench to support your chest. Put the weight in your hands and extend your arms, so they hang straight in front of you.
  • Keep your core tight and your hips from slipping as you row the weights up to the side of your chest.
  • Pause at the peak of the action. Return to the starting position.

5. Meadows Row 

The Meadows row is a unilateral landmine exercise that primarily targets the back. The workout also challenges one’s grip and, by extension, strengthens one’s biceps. The list of targeted muscles includes the middle back, shoulders, and forearms.

How to do a Meadows row:

  • Start by loading up a T-bar (or a landmine) and getting into a staggered stance with your leading foot perpendicular to the bar.
  • Move in a right-foot-first fashion, bending at the waist so you can reach the bar’s end with your left hand. An overhand grip is OK for this movement.
  • Get a good grip by resting your right elbow on your thigh, then row the weight until your left hand is outside your chest.
  • To complete a set, return the bar to its initial position.


The Australian pull-up, sometimes called an inverted row, is a variation on the classic pull-up that involves a horizontal pull. This workout is beneficial for all fitness levels. Inverted rows may build upper-body strength even if you don’t have advanced skills and much experience. Inverted rows will emphasize lats, traps, and arm muscles but also involve the lower body, including the glutes and hamstrings.