Pulling an object or yourself might be an important part of your daily function. It’s certainly important if you’ve ever had to take Physical Fitness (PFT) and Physical Readiness Tests (PRT). The pulling movement is indicated by bringing an object closer to you such as pulling rope lines, or pulling yourself closer to an object such as a pull-up. Pulling also can be a component of other foundational movements such as the clean.
Pull movements (and all other foundational movements) aren’t just about upper body strength. Keep in mind a good pull movement engages your core to maintain stability throughout your body. For example, in a true pull-up, your core is tight (think belly button to back) in order to limit any extra swinging motion or momentum to help you get above the bar. Remember your core is more than just your abs too. It includes all the muscles (front and back) from your shoulders to your glutes. So when you’re doing your rows, engaging your core also means keeping your shoulders down and back. Think of it like putting your shoulder blades in your back pockets.
You can find out more about pull movements in HPRC’s video series on foundational movements. Watch the videos below to learn a progression of pull movements—row, pull-up, and clean—that you can practice on your own.