How to do a pull-up: For the ladies

Kerry - Pull-ups

Ladies, you too can do a pull-up!

A lot of women out there think they can’t do a pull-up.  I believe there are two main reasons.  One is women have a lot less innate strength than men do in their arms.  The second is subject I talked about in my post “I don’t want to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger.” and other excuses women use to avoid lifting weights.  And that is many women are afraid that they will turn into a big burly man if they lift weights.

Skyler talked about the traditional way to do pull-ups.  That is using negative and the like.  However, that doesn’t work for someone who has much lower arm strength.  I used pull-up assist bands to achieve the pull-up.  These are not the same as resistance bands, which are much thinner.  A pull-up assist band is around 1/4 inch thick.  It’s made to handle your full weight.  Using a pull-up assist band allowed me to get to an unassisted pull-up in six months.  It took a little while, but it was worth it in the end.

Before you do this, please keep two things in mind.  First, if you have injuries to your upper body that prevent you from doing heavy arm exercises, don’t attempt pull-ups.  Tony doesn’t do them anymore because of this reason.  Also, if you have a lot of weight to lose (more like 50 or more pounds), save pull-ups until you get further towards your goal.  For women, trying to do this intense of an exercise without the muscle base could cause injury.  Work on other arm strengthening exercises first.

If you are ready to try a pull-up, go for it.  Don’t give up.  When I did my first pull-up by myself, it was amazing.  Being strong is an amazing feeling.  Don’t be afraid of it.


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