Pull Exercises For Legs

Pull Exercises For Legs

The Complete Guide for Leg Pull Exercises

Pull exercises for the legs are essential components of a well-rounded lower-body workout. These exercises serve to increase strength, improve mobility, and improve overall athletic performance by focusing on the hamstrings, glutes, and other stabilizing muscles. We’ll dive into the best pull exercises for legs in this extensive guide, complete with step-by-step instructions and advice to get the most of your workout.

The Complete Guide for Leg Pull Exercises

Benefits of Leg Pull Exercises 

Exercises that involve pulling on the legs have many advantages, such as:

Better Muscle Balance:

These workouts assist balance the growth of muscles in the front and rear of the legs by concentrating on the posterior chain.

Enhanced Athletic Performance:

For explosive motions like jumping and running, strong glutes and hamstrings are essential.

Injury Prevention:

Building stronger quadriceps muscles will help lessen the chance of injury, especially to the knees and lower back.

Improved Posture:

Pull exercises strengthen the muscles that support the pelvis and spine, which helps to improve posture. 

Top Pull Exercises for Legs

1. Romanian Deadlift (RDL)

A common exercise that works the lower back, glutes, and hamstrings is the Romanian Deadlift. It is well renowned for its ability to improve muscular definition and strength.

How to Perform:

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding a barbell with an overhand grip.
  2. Keep your knees slightly bent and hinge at the hips to lower the barbell down your legs.
  3. Maintain a flat back and push your hips back while lowering the barbell.
  4. Lower the barbell until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings.
  5. Return to the starting position by driving your hips forward and standing up straight.


  • Keep the barbell close to your body throughout the movement.
  • Focus on hinging at the hips rather than bending at the waist.
  • Start with a lighter weight to master the form before progressing.

2. Glute Ham Raise

An advanced exercise that works the glutes and hamstrings well is the Glute Ham Raise. A glute ham developer (GHD) machine is needed.

How to Perform:

  1. Adjust the GHD machine so your feet are secured and your thighs are supported.
  2. Start in an upright position with your body straight.
  3. Lower your torso by bending at the knees, keeping your upper body and thighs in a straight line.
  4. Use your hamstrings to pull yourself back up to the starting position.


  • Focus on a slow and controlled movement to maximise muscle activation.
  • Avoid arching your back; keep it straight throughout the exercise.
  • Perform this exercise with body weight initially before adding resistance.

3. Nordic Hamstring Curl

A great bodyweight exercise that really works the hamstrings is the Nordic Hamstring Curl.

How to Perform:

  1. Kneel on a padded surface and secure your feet under a stable anchor.
  2. Cross your arms over your chest and maintain a straight line from your knees to your shoulders.
  3. Slowly lower your upper body towards the ground, resisting the movement with your hamstrings.
  4. Once you can no longer control the descent, catch yourself with your hands and push back up.


  • Ensure a gradual and controlled descent to prevent injury.
  • Incorporate assistance, such as a band, if needed to manage the difficulty.
  • Regular practice will improve strength and control over time.

4. Good Mornings

Good mornings works well for strengthening the posterior chain by working the hamstrings and lower back.

How to Perform:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a barbell across your upper back.
  2. Keep a slight bend in your knees and hinge at the hips, lowering your torso forward.
  3. Lower until your upper body is nearly parallel to the ground, maintaining a flat back.
  4. Return to the starting position by driving your hips forward.


  • Keep the barbell secured on your upper traps, not your neck.
  • Focus on hip hinge movement to engage the hamstrings effectively.
  • Start with lighter weights to ensure proper form.

5. Romanian Single-Leg Deadlift

A variation on the classic Romanian Deadlift that improves balance and works each leg separately is the Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift.

How to Perform:

  1. Stand on one leg, holding a dumbbell in the opposite hand.
  2. Keep your standing knee slightly bent and hinge at the hips, lowering the dumbbell towards the ground.
  3. Extend your free leg behind you for balance, keeping your back straight.
  4. Lower until you feel a stretch in your hamstring, then return to the starting position.


  • Focus on maintaining balance throughout the movement.
  • Engage your core to stabilize your body.
  • Perform the exercise slowly to maximize muscle engagement.

Programming Pull Exercises for Legs

There are various ways to include pull exercises in your leg training regimen. Here are some pointers about programming:

Frequency: Try to work your legs with pull exercises two or three times a week.

Volume: Include 3-4 sets of each exercise, with 8-12 repetitions each set.

Progression: As your strength increases, progressively up the weight and intricacy of the exercises.

Variation: To attack the muscles from different angles and avoid plateaus, alternate between different pull exercises.

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