Workout of the Day

The Forgotten Pull


Bodybuilding sometimes gets a bad rap, especially in the world of CrossFit, but you’d be committing an error if you assumed there wasn’t anything you could learn from a traditional bodybuilding practice. If bodybuilding gets one thing right, it’s a focus on balance. As aesthetics are the main priority, an effective bodybuilder will prioritize exercises and programming that develop muscle groups in balance. For every push, there is a pull. For every pull, there are multiple angles, planes, and ranges of motion, and so on. No stones go unturned.

On the flip side, while the core principles of CrossFit do prioritize balance and movement through all planes of motion, it is often not put into practice as such. At any given CrossFit gym, you’re likely to find an abundance of vertical pulling (pull-ups, chin-ups, muscle-ups, rope climbs) and a lack of horizontal pulling (rowing of all varieties - ring rows, dumbbell rows, barbell rows, overhand or underhand grip, etc.). This is a mistake.

Not only is horizontal pulling an incredible way to develop upper- and mid-back strength, and not only does horizontal pulling help develop better posture and joint health, it’s also a superb accessory exercise for helping improve your performance in the vertical pulling exercises such as pull-ups, muscle-ups, and rope climbs, as well as all of your pushing exercises (push-up, overhead press, etc.) and hinging exercises like deadlifts and power cleans. I don’t want to oversell it here, but you’d be remiss to exclude horizontal pulling from your training.

Our GPP programming includes horizontal pulling in addition to movements through all other planes of motion. But if you’re looking to sprinkle some accessory work on top of your regular training, an extra dose of horizontal pulling may be just what you need.

- PS


  • 5 rounds, 1 minute at each station for max reps:

    • Yoke carry (5’ = 1 rep) (355/255)

    • Axle bar deadlifts (205/140)

    • Parallette push-ups

    • Double-unders

    • 1 min rest