One of the markers of strength is the ability to do a pull up, and it’s a big goal for many women. A few years ago I couldn’t do a pull-up but I made it one of my goals and I gradually worked up to it! So how can you achieve the goal of doing a pull-up?
First of all, you’ll need to build up your upper body strength. Your upper back, specifically your latissimus dorsi (lats), plays the biggest role in the movement.
To strengthen your back start with lat pull downs. Gradually add weight each week until you are almost able to pull your body weight.
You will also want to do assisted pull-ups. This can be done on a machine or with a thick band under your feet. Reduce the weight assisting you or the strength of the band as you get stronger.
“Negatives” are another exercise that can prepare you for the full pull-up. To do a “negative” use a step or a bench to help you lift up to the top of the pull up movement. Hold at the top for a second or two, then slowly lower yourself down. This is called the eccentric part of the movement and it helps prepare you for the full movement. Do 3-5 sets of 4-6 negatives.
Aim to train your back 2 times a week.
Once you build up the strength you should be able to do a full on pull-up! Have you succeeded in doing a pull-up? What is on your list of goals?