Australian Pull Up - Explanation and How To

If you are wondering what an Australian pull up is, or how to do it, read on. We have a full break down of this powerful exercise.

Woman performing Australian pull up on TRX bands

By: Travis

Hi, I am Travis. My main focus in life is to understand training better and help others get better results too. I used to be about the least fit kid in school and would always be last to get picked for a team. It wasn't for a lack of trying, but all my efforts just lead to injuries

For years, I had completely given up on ever getting in shape. Then I began to use my brain before using my muscles. I read every popular book on exercise, and began to structure my training.

With the right training methods, and the right machines, I was able to rebuild my body from the ground up.

According to science, I would never be able to walk pain-free again. And I would never be able to do 20 pull-ups with the injuries to my rotator cuff. But they were al wrong.

This site is where you can find all my tips and recommendations.

Australian pull-ups, also known as the bodyweight rows, are a special kind of exercise that will give strength to your abdominal muscles, arms, and grip. They also help improve your posture immensely by countering the position that your body is in during sedentary activities.

It is not a hard exercise to perform, and with enough repetition, you will see the muscles of your upper and mid-back strengthen further.

The easiest way to perform Australian pullups is to envision yourself doing a pushup upside down. All you will need is a bar attached to a firm surface to perform this exercise.

Proper Posture

First, you will want to get yourself situated. Lie your back directly underneath the bar. It does not have to be perfectly matched, but you will ideally want to have your bar about leveled with your sternum.

Posture is very important when doing the Australian pull up

Body Extension

The next step is extending your body. Keep your back directly straight while having your feet ever so slightly apart. The same thing goes for your arms. They should be fully extended as well. At this point, you can adjust the height of the bar as needed to accommodate your size.


Next, take a big exhale as you begin to pull your body in an upwards direction towards the bar. Do this until your chest makes direct contact with the bar. Once you do this, your elbows and forearms should be at approximately a 45-degree angle.

Finally, take a big inhale as you return to the starting position to complete one repetition.

Tips for Novices

If you are a beginner and you do not feel that you have the strength to perform one rep, practicing these movements will help you more easily perform one. Once you are able to do that, aim to get at least three sets of 10 Australian pull-ups. Generally, once you are able to get this done, you will be able to perform these pull-ups with relative ease.

As a general rule of thumb, you will have better leverage if the bar is higher up. If you are finding yourself having difficulty performing a pull-up on a bar that is about at the height of your waist, you should start with a bar that is closer to your chest.

How To Maximize This Exercise

What is unique about this exercise is that there are a variety of ways it can be used. For example, this pull-up is a great supplementary exercise to use with push-ups. This is because it works opposite muscle groups.

Man doing the most advanced version of the Australian pull up

In turn, this can create a great balance in your workouts because the Aussie pull up is essentially an inverted push-up. In addition, you are permitting certain muscles to rest while working with others. This will maintain an elevated heart rate while preventing early burnout.