March 25, 2019

BioSteel Breakdown – THE PULL-UP 

Why has there always been a debate and notion that it is more difficult for women to do pull-ups? This debate has continued every year in one form or another by different writers or publications. As strength coaches and writers (Championship Lifestyle) – we couldn’t help but weigh in.

To clarify, when we refer to pull-ups, we are referring to an overhand grip with palms pointed away from you, as opposed to a chin-up, with palms facing you.

We know, pull-ups are really hard. It requires you to start at a dead hang and pull your body upwards until your chin passes over the bar. It means that your entire bodyweight will be suspended by your arms, which will likely feel more like noodles than muscular hoists. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t do them! Remember, pull-ups are difficult and difficult things take time.

So, here are our Top 3 suggestions for improving your pull-up – hopefully in 90 days or less.

Consistency: Pull-ups are not one of those skills you can practice every few weeks and expect to improve. Plan to practice some variation of vertical pulling 2-3 times per week at a minimum. It can seem like a lot of practice, but that’s the reality of becoming a pull-up master.

Volume: In addition to being consistent with the pull-up workouts you also need to do a lot of them! Volume is king! High reps within the workout are important, but you can also mix them in between other exercises. Squat day? No problem, sneak a rep or two in between each set. It won’t be enough to fatigue you, but it will help to groove the pattern and accelerate your process.

Do The Little Things: Soft Tissue, Mobility, and Activation are the brushing your teeth, flossing, and combing your hair of the pull-up. With a complex and dynamic movement, the body needs to be operating at full capacity, and any tightness or compensation can negatively impact your ability to perform the exercise. As dull as these exercises might seem they shouldn’t be overlooked, no matter how rushed you may be.

Thanks to Championship Lifestyle for this article on The Pull-Up!