I really hate all the other lat exercises - I find them boring and unsatisfying. Are pull-ups enough to work all the back muscles or am I really missing something if I only do these?

Add to this also the fact that I don't really like that look of massive flaring lats that give you a V shape. - and I also do quite high resistance rowing (on a machine though).

2 Answers 2


If you're doing deadlifts for the spinal erectors, then using pullups/chinups for your upper back work is sufficient. (I mention deadlifts, because pull-ups/chin-ups neglect the lower back.)

Starting Strength, a very popular full body strength training program uses pull-ups/chin-ups for exactly this purpose.


"Get away with"? From whom are you attempting to escape?

Lats aren't the only back muscle, of course, although normal core work will target others.

Ultimately it depends 100% on your goals. There aren't any workout police you need to fool.

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    Your first line would have made sense if I'd said "get way from" somewhere in what I wrote. This doesn't answer my question of 'are there any back muscle groups that would be neglected if I just did rowing and pull ups'. Commented Jun 14, 2012 at 19:35
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    @SirYakalot You're right--I assume people have a sense of humor, which is often wrong. With that in mind, this question is trivially searchable, and I did indicate that there are other muscle groups besides lats, which is "yes", there are. Also, without knowing your goals, other than not having a V-taper, it's more difficult to provide meaningful help. Commented Jun 14, 2012 at 19:44
  • Make the DB or BB Pullovers your best friend. Try different variations either bent-arm or straight arm to really work on the ribcage and those lats. If you do this consistently for a year, increase the reps/weights/etc come back to this forum and tell me what the result was for achieving lat strength or that V-taper :-) (I know you mentioned you don't like a massive V-taper but this is an excellent exercise for your lats and for your body --> see it basically as a reverse C yoga stretch with weight) Commented Jun 16, 2012 at 0:29

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