You Pull-up Like A Girl

You bet I do!

I’ve been working really hard at getting better at pull-ups and there’s a reason: They are one of the BEST upper body exercises you can do!

I went from doing ZERO to being able to do multiple reps assisted, and now I can do multiple sets of 5-10 during a workout circuit.  I’m going to teach you how to do it, too!  This was 8 months after having Quinn…it is possible!

It’s not everyday you see a girl hammering out a few (or more) in a row, but us ladies need to be working on lifting our body weight.  It’s not only important for our health and posture, but it is key to creating the sexy back and sculpted arms we all long for.  So why don’t we focus on pull-ups?

Easy!  They are hard for us. The center of mass for our body is our hips, legs and booty!  A man has broad shoulders, a broad chest and narrow hips which means his center of mass is higher (plus more muscle) and this makes it easier for them to do a pull-up.

The best time to start is yesterday…

Dead Hang


Try just hanging with regular grip and reverse grip.  Just a dead hang gives you some grip and forearm strength.  While hanging, focus on keeping your core tight and look up at the bar.  Once you can do this a few times for more than 30 seconds, it’s time to move on.

Dead Hang > Packed Shoulders


Start your hang and then pull your shoulders down and back to lift your self into a “packed” position.  Watch this awesome video demonstration.  Once you are able to do 10-15 reps of this movement, try moving on.

Dead Hang > Packed Shoulders > Pull


Now that you are hanging and are able to engage your lats by packing your shoulders, try pulling up as much as you can.  It’s okay if you only come half way or even one inch.  The idea behind this is to work your way up.  In a few weeks of practicing this, you will be able to do more.  **Remember, no swinging or using momentum!**

Dead Hang > Packed Shoulders > Pull (with assistance)


You can also try adding some assistance like a chair or Chin-Up Max bands that I own.  I love them to decrease resistance or add a little assistance with just sliding the strap.

Dead Hang > Packed Shoulders > Pull

Go for it.  All the way up!  How many can you do?  Keep track for a few weeks and that is going to increase!

Negatives You may also want to try starting at the top with your chin above the bar and lowering slowly.  Keep your legs straight and core tight!  Lower as slowly as possible until you are at the bottom.

Eventually, you will be a pull-up QUEEN!  Seriously,  check out all these fun variations from the awesome Tony Horton.

Tomorrow, I am going to post a home workout for you that will help you strengthen the muscles that are key to doing a pull-up.  We NEED to be working toward being able to lift ourselves with just our upper body strength, and in order to do it, we have to focus on strengthening a few key areas of the body such as upper body (biceps, forearms, shoulders) back and lats, as well as our core.

Stay tuned!

What fitness move have you greatly improved on?

Are you able to do at least ONE pull-up?

Do you think women should be doing pull-ups?

If you are a pull-up pro, what is your favorite move?  I love vaulters and the W!

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