Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeOlympic Weightlifting
  • Equipment RequiredBarbell
  • MechanicsCompound
  • Force TypePull (Bilateral)
  • Experience LevelIntermediate
  • Secondary Muscles
    Abs, Adductors, Biceps, Calves, Forearms, Glutes, Hamstrings, Quads, Shoulders, Upper Back
Target Muscle Group


Traps Muscle Anatomy Diagram

High Pull Overview

The high pull is a variation of the clean and an exercise used primarily to target the muscles of the shoulders and traps.

The high pull is somewhat of a combination exercise (combining a deadlift with an upright row) and will target other muscles groups such as the upper back and hamstrings.

High pulls are performed explosively, and since the traps respond well to explosive movements, will help with trap muscle growth. They also have a significant amount of application in sports-specific training where explosiveness is an important indicator for performance.

High Pull Instructions

  1. Setup with your feet in a shoulder width stance, toes pointed out slightly, and your hands in a slightly wider than shoulder width grip.
  2. Dip slightly to the power position and allow the bar to slide down your thighs.
  3. Explosively jump straight up, shrug the bar aggressively, and then drive the elbows high.
  4. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

High Pull Tips

  1. Olympic lifting is about efficiency, not just brute strength.
  2. Ideally you want the movement to take place in a vertical fashion. Don’t think about pushing the hips forward, think up.
  3. Toe angle is highly individual - experiment to see what feels best for you.
  4. Drive through the whole foot - you want 3 points of contact: big toe, little toe, and heel.