You can do 100 push-ups easily. You can balance on one arm. You can run a marathon and still smile. But can you do pull-ups? I know for me, it’s that one move that I just can’t seem to get down. After any workout, I feel incredibly strong, and proudly in shape. But if anyone ever challenges me to a pull-up, you can bet my face is turning purple as I grunt, huff and puff to get my chin above the bar.
And while women struggle with this, it seems like men can handle multiple pull-ups much easier. How come? Women typically have a stronger lower body than upper body. But that gives all the more reason why we should incorporate this exercise into our training. Need another motivator? Working your lats helps to emphasize the hourglass shape most of us ladies beg for.
And if the thought of your face turning another shade is making you hesitant, fret not. Here is a series of progressions that will take you from huffing to conquering in no time.
Step One: Australian Pull Up
Start simple, keeping your feet on the ground or an elevated surface and trying a horizontal pull-up.
Step Two: Bar Hang
Resist swinging and feel the intensity of your muscles working to keep you from letting go.
Step Three: Flexed-Arm Hang
Now you’re ready to hang with your arms flexed and your chin above the bar.
Step Four: Slow Negatives
This is like doing a reverse pull-up. First you start in a flexed hang position and then, as you tense your entire body, you lower yourself slowly.
You’re ready to try your first pull-up. Opt for the underhand version first. This is also called the chin-up.
You made it to the overhand pull-up! Honour your body and don’t push yourself too hard, but try to practice your pull-ups every other day until one turns into five and so on!