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Substituting pull-ups with dumbbells


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Push-ups are compound exercises, so it's a little tricky:

1) bent-over dumb bell rows

2) overhead presses

3) bicep curls

4) tricep kickbacks/skullcrushers/overhead extensions


There isn't a way to duplicate a pull-up, as you're pulling your body weight, well, up.  You can use overhead presses and dumbell rows that will engage a number of the same muscles, but you aren't going to get the pull/contraction.


A Hindu pushup is, well, like transitioning from downward dog to...I forget the other position, something cobra.

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Pull Ups are a back and bicep dominant movement, you can train your back using dumbbells with a variety of row variations- bent over rows, single arm rows, kroc rows, dumbbell upright rows, etc. You can also stimulate your back by performing an 'inverted row' using a table or chairs with a bar of some kind (just make sure it's strong enough to support you). 

Variations for push-ups, which work your chest and triceps, will include all varieties of dumbbell presses (flat bench, incline bench, floor press, squeeze press), but the push up is a superior movement for training economy considering you must also contract the glutes and torso to stay rigid during the movement. I would not remove push-ups from your training in place of a dumbbell alternative.

"No-one tells a T-Rex when to go to sleep".

- Jim Wendler

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