What Muscles Do Dumbbell High Pulls Properly Work?

Many people can’t differentiate between the dumbbell high pull and the dumbbell upright row. In this article, the high pull dumbbell is outlined to make it clear how it differs from the upright row. Besides that, the text outlines the muscles that get worked by the high pulls. In addition to that, the article outlines the muscles that get exercise by the high pull and the upright row. Yes, these two exercises are similar but engage different muscles. By the end of the article, you will be able to differentiate between the two workouts. In addition, this article also gives the alternative workouts that you can do in place of the dumbbell high pull.

Single Dumbbell High Pull.

The single dumbbell high pull is good for building muscles. It targets the delts and rhomboids muscles. As you drive the dumbbell up, you might seem to be engaging the arm muscles more but the workout engages almost the entire body muscles. For instance, the shoulders, lower back muscles, and abs also get exercises.

Dumbbell High Pull - shoulder injury

Therefore, this exercise targets various muscles. As you do this exercise, make sure that you choose the weight that is not too much to distract your form. The poor form may result in a shoulder injury. To do the exercise you can follow the steps below;

  1. Start by holding a dumbbell with your one hand. Standing with your feet at shoulder-width apart, lower your hand with the dumbbell and make sure that your back is straight. You can keep the other hand.
  2. Engage the shoulder muscles and lift the dumbbell up to the chest level. Exhale before lowering the dumbbell.
  3. Lower the dumbbell while inhaling.

Dumbbell High Pull Weight.

This exercise targets a lot of muscles if you perform it correctly. Primarily, the dumbbell high pull exercises target the deltoids and trapezius. Other muscles that also get exercised include quads, adductors, hamstrings, glutes, biceps, and more. This exercise is good for strengthening your body muscles. To do it you can follow the steps;

  1. Start by grasping the dumbbells. Make sure your hands are doing the overhand grip.
  2. Stand with your feet at shoulder-width apart.
  3. Then bend your body and knees so that the dumbbells are above the knees.
  4. After that, pull the dumbbells up with your elbows up and apart. The dumbbells must reach the shoulder level.
  5. As you pull up the dumbbells, pull up your body as if you are jumping and balance on your toes as the dumbbells reach the shoulder level. You will feel your hips, knees, and ankle being extended.
  6. Finally, return your body to the starting position.

Dumbbell High Row.

The dumbbell high row exercise targets the upper body muscles. You can use the dumbbell, barbell, kettlebell to do the exercise. You can just choose what you are comfortable with. This exercise is similar to the high pull workout. To do the dumbbell high row, you can follow the steps below;

  1. Start by choosing the weight that you can use successfully without having challenges.
  2. Then grasp the dumbbells and let them hang by your hips with your arms fully extended.
  3. Stand with your feet at shoulder-width apart distance.
  4. Engage your abs and breathe in and lift the dumbbells up to the shoulder level. Then breathe out and pause in that position before returning the arms down.
  5. Finally, lower the dumbbells and breathe in.
  6. You can repeat the move as much as you can.

Dumbbell High Pull Vs Upright Row.

These exercises are shoulder exercises and they are similar.  Besides that, you also use the same equipment when doing the upright row or the high pull. Apart from using the dumbbell, you can use a barbell or any other weight that you prefer. But the dumbbells are much safer than the barbell.

However, the two exercises target various muscles. The high pull workout is good for working a lot of muscle groups. For instance, it exercises the legs, shoulders, and arms muscles. To be specific, the high pull primarily strengthens the upper muscles such as the shoulders and the traps. In addition to that, it also engages other muscles at a secondary level such as the glutes, quads, hamstrings, lats, hip flexors, and more. At most, the high pull is usually done using the barbell.

On the other hand, the upright row exercises specific muscles such as the lateral deltoids. More so, it is also good at growing the rhomboids, biceps, and trapezius muscles. However, the upright row is not as intense as the high pull exercise.

Dumbbell High Pull Alternative.

There are many exercises that you can do in place of the dumbbell high pull. You can do the exercise that targets the same muscles worked by the dumbbell high pull workout. You can do exercises that do not need the use of the equipment and those that use gym equipment. As long as you work the targeted muscles successfully. Below are some dumbbell high pull alternatives;

The Cable Face Pull.

This exercise targets the shoulders and upper back. It might be working in different degrees but you can do it as an alternative to the dumbbell high pull. To do the exercise follow the steps below;

  1. Start by attaching the rope handle to the cable tower.
  2. Grasp the rope handles in an overhand grip. Make sure that your arms are fully extended.
  3. Then pull the rope handles towards you and keep the arms parallel to the ground.
  4. Finally, return your hands to the starting position.
  5. Then repeat the moves

Dumbbell Lateral Raises.

The dumbbell lateral raises are good at exercising the lateral deltoids. In addition to that, they also target the muscles under the armpits known as serratus anterior. More so, your arms muscles also receive good exercise. To do the exercise follow the steps below;

  1. Holding the dumbbells each in hand, stand with your feet at hip-width apart distance.
  2. Then stand upright with your arms by your side and the palms facing you.
  3. Keep your torso upright and lift the dumbells up until your arms are parallel to the floor.
  4. Pause in that position for a second and then return the arms to the starting position.
  5. You can do 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps.

Single Arm Kettlebell High Pull.

Dumbbell High Pull - Single Arm Kettlebell High Pull

This is another exercise that targets the various muscles the same way as the dumbbell high pull. For instance, it targets the upper body and lower body muscles such as rhomboids, traps, abs, glutes, and hamstrings.  In addition to that, it builds and strengthens the muscles. To do the exercise, you can follow the steps below;

  1. Grasp a kettlebell with one hand and swing it until it reaches your shoulder.
  2. Then if the arm is parallel to the ground, you can pull the weight towards your shoulder in a horizontal line.
  3. Push back the kettlebell and allow it to drop back swinging.
  4. Do your reps and then exercise the other side. You can do 10 to 15 reps on each side.

Barbell High Pull.

This exercise targets the shoulders, traps, posterior chain, and biceps. If you want to have good postural health, you should try the barbell high pull exercise. To do the barbell high pull exercise, you can follow the steps below;

  1. Start by standing upright with feet at shoulder-width apart distance.
  2. Then bend to grab the barbell with your hands positioned outside your legs to make a wide grip. Make, sure you are holding the barbell with an overhand grip.
  3. Hinge at hips and lift the barbell above the knees
  4. Keep on driving the barbell up. Lift the barbell up as high as you can.
  5. Then bring your elbows backwards.
  6. Finally, return the barbell to the starting position.

Scapular Pull Up.

The scapular pull up exercise is good for upper back and shoulder muscles.  In addition to that, exercise is good for preventing shoulder injuries. To do the exercise, you can follow the steps below;

  1. Stand on your feet. Your feet must be over the shoulder-width apart distance.
  2. Grasp the pull bar with the palms facing away from your body.
  3. Hang with your arms fully extended. Then draw your scapular downwards. This motion is good for raising your body without bending your arms.
  4. Raise your chest as you draw your shoulders backwards and down.
  5. After reaching the top, pause for a second and return to the starting position or to the full hand position.
Dumbbell High Pull - Scapular Pull Up

Final thoughts

In conclusion, the high pulls are good for exercising various muscles. Primarily, the exercise targets traps and shoulder muscles. It strengthens those muscles to prevent your shoulders from injuries, thereby making it easy to do your day-to-day activities. More so some other muscles that get exercised include hamstrings, quads, lats, hip flexors, glutes, and many others.

Some people cannot differentiate between the high pull to upright row exercise. They might look similar, but they hit the body muscles in different angles. The high pull exercises do not only work the upper muscles but it also gives the lower body muscles a good whip. The high pull exercise can be done using the dumbbell, kettlebell, barbell, and other weights. However, the above text focuses more on a dumbbell. If you are not comfortable to do the dumbbell high pull, there are alternative exercises that you can do. For example, you can do the scapular pull-up, barbell high pull, and many others in the above text.

The dumbbell high pull exercises different body muscles. Share your experiences; have you been doing it the right way?

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