To me, there's nothing that feels more empowering and badass than being able to hoist my own body weight over a bar.
And I know a lot of women would love to experience that for themselves but feel that it's just a pipe dream.
We've been told that it's not something that women can do. That you have to be impossibly strong, and women just don't have the necessary upper body muscle and strength like guys do.
Well, I say bullshit to that.
Pull-ups are totally possible for women. But they don't happen by accident or chance. There's a method and skill to them.
Here are some quick tips for working towards your first chin-up or pull-up:
1.) Train them frequently.
If you want to be able to do pull-ups, you'll need to train them no less than twice a week. Three or four would be even better to really grease the groove. But not too often, so as to overwork or injure your shoulders (been there, done that, not fun). Ease into it.
2.) Create tension in your whole body with hollow body holds.
According to Pavel Tsatsouline of Strong First, "The hollow position is a posture from gymnastics designed to maximize your strength: tensed and shortened abs, tensed glutes, a tucked-in pelvis, flared shoulder blades, and a slightly concave body shape. The grip is secondary; the posture is primary."
Lie on your back with arms straight behind you. Press your lower back into the floor and draw your belly button down to brace the abs. Raise shoulders, arms, and legs off the ground several inches and hold for 10 seconds to start, working up to 30 seconds or more.
3.) Work on your dead hang to build grip strength and shoulder stability.
Use an overhand grip with hands shoulder width apart on the bar. Keep the shoulder blades down and chest up to fully engage the back muscles. Start with 10 seconds, working up to longer duration.
4.) Do negatives.
This includes both inverted rows and chin-ups. Start with using a box or bench to jump up to the top position and slowly lower yourself down with control for 3 seconds, adding to it slowly over time. For inverted rows, progress by getting closer to parallel with the floor and even elevating your feet. Negatives can make you pretty sore, so be prepared.
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