Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredBodyweight
  • MechanicsCompound
  • Force TypePull (Bilateral)
  • Experience LevelIntermediate
  • Secondary Muscles
    Abs, Biceps, Shoulders, Upper Back
Target Muscle Group


Lats Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Pull Up with Leg Raise Overview

The pull up with leg raise is a combination exercise that combines the pull up and leg raise. This combo challenges the back to maintain a paused position and the core to execute a leg raise.

The slight pause at the top of the pull up increases the time under tension placed on the pulling muscles involved and can be a good way to progressively overload the muscle to elicit muscle growth.

Pull Up with Leg Raise Instructions

  1. Using a pronated grip, grasp the pull up bar with a slightly wider than shoulder width grip.
  2. Take a deep breath, depress the shoulder blades and drive the elbows straight down to the floor while activating the lats.
  3. Pull your chin towards the bar until the lats are fully contracted, then squeeze the abs and raise the legs to 90 degrees.
  4. Lower the legs and then slowly lower yourself back to the start position.
  5. Repeat for the assigned number of repetitions.

Pull Up with Leg Raise Tips

  1. To decrease bicep involvement, use a false (thumbless grip).
  2. Try to keep a neutral head position (looking straight ahead or slightly up) as hyperextending the neck can lead to compensations throughout the spine.
  3. If the bar is high enough, keep the legs straight and in front of the body in a hollow body position.
  4. Avoid falling into overextension of the lumbar spine by squeezing your glutes and bracing your abs.
  5. The pull up is completed when the lats are fully flexed, don’t continue pulling and compensate with the pecs. When this occurs, the elbows will flare up behind the body, the shoulder will round forward, and you’ll begin to feel pressure in the front of your shoulders.
  6. A lifter’s segment length will determine whether or not they can actually get their chin over the bar, it’s not an absolute for everyone.
  7. Lower to almost full extension of the elbow but avoid locking out completely as this can place excessive strain on the ligamentous structures within the elbow and shoulder.
  8. If you can’t complete a single bodyweight pull up, start with slow negatives (add weight when these can be accomplished under control) or flexed arm hangs in the top position.
  9. Ditch the straps and kips, neither one is necessary or recommended.