Pull ups are on the list of desires for many women in the weight room. Few body weight movements make you feel as strong and capable, so it makes sense that you want one!
Before we dive into how that happens, we need to cover a few bases.
First, chin ups and pull ups are different. A chin up uses a supinated grip (palms toward you), and a pull up uses a pronated grip (palms away from you). A chin up is mechanically easier to achieve than the pull up. So it is likely you may achieve this movement unassisted first. But the tactics we talk about today can be applied to ANY pull up variation.
The pull up has phases if you will – to complete one, you’ll need to have adequate strength in the initial pull (depressing the scapula), mid pull, and the top third (getting those elbows down, and chin above the bar).
Note that you can add assistance via a band for any of the drills listed in the swipe graphic below. And you can also supplement with other vertical and horizontal pulling patterns to strengthen your back.
I used to have an entire pull up guide but quite frankly, the adherence was terrible. I know the science and programming in the guide worked. Perhaps I was missing something OR perhaps there is truth in the fact that many women want to be able to do a pull up but are not aware of the gravity of work it actually takes – TO GET ONE.
Then begins the journey of multiple pull ups in a set. The reality is, when you get that first one unassisted it is SO WORTH CELEBRATING. It’s a big deal. And you’re back on the gains train to string them together. Which can happen via the same tactics and principles you used to get the first one. That’s the good news.
Pull ups are a skill and if you want to get one, or many, prepare to work the skill. You’re likely going to feel weak and suck for a good while. You’ll need to be consistent. You’ll need to practice more than once per week.
Can you do an unassisted chin up or pull up?
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I'm an adventurous introvert from Vancouver, Washington who lives on sleep + "me time." I'm a lover of lifting weights, dinosaurs, real talk and traveling with my husband. I am here to help you move better, lift more, bust the myths of the fitness industry, and inspire you to love the process.
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