Unfortunately, you see very few women banging out pull-ups, as many women have been falsely led to believe that they are not capable of performing them. Many others are not training for pull-ups in a way that is conducive to success. Most of the females you tend to see thriving at pull-ups are elite athletes in their twenties or early thirties.
Not Evelyn, though. She happens to be in her late fifties, and can routinely perform a minimum of six pull-ups on a dime. At a time when most people attribute their lack of ability to aging, Evelyn is putting them to shame.
Life certainly wasn’t easy for her. Forget doing pull-ups. Getting groceries, walking her dog, and performing regular daily tasks were, quite literally, a pain in the neck.
So, when Evelyn and I started working together, not only did I have the challenge of helping her reach her goal—the ability to do a pull-up—but I was also on a mission to help her rebuild her body so that she could properly achieve this goal for the first time in her life. Evelyn accomplished her goal, and we did so as a team.
Before Evelyn touched the pull-up bar, we practiced the raw technique of a proper pull-up and worked on mastering the basics.
Think of your body as a chain. When all of the links in this chain are strong, your ability to perform most exercises, including pull-ups, should dramatically improve. You do not want a weak link in your chain, and this applies to your entire body. If your core is weak, and the core includes all of the muscles in your body aside from your arms and legs, your ability to perform pull-ups will likely suffer.
Many people make the mistake of trying to go from A-Z, and do not follow the essential steps that will actually help them improve their pull-up technique, full body strength, controlled mobility, and stability/tension. As a result, they fail to excel at achieving their pull-up specific goals. Depending on where your starting point is, performing the appropriate pull-up regressions, horizontal pulling exercises, scapula/shoulder controlled mobility exercises, lumbo-pelvic stability exercises, grip exercises, and even lower body exercises, and only progressing when you are ready, will better prepare you to conquer the pull-up. Many people skip key steps and wonder why they aren’t making progress, get frustrated, and quit. Don’t make this mistake. Be patient, and the results will pay off.
There is no mention of glute strength. Yes, believe it or not, you need a strong butt to master the pull-up.
There is very little attention devoted to core strength. After you’ve performed pull-ups, you might notice that your “abs” are a little sore or at least feel tired. When you’re performing an actual pull-up, all of the muscles in your torso that surround your spine must work to keep your body stable and from swinging, and help you travel to and from the bar with ease.
There is also very little attention devoted to the muscles that control the movement of your shoulder blades, otherwise known as the scapulae. If these very influential muscles aren’t strong enough, and if you aren’t able to own the movement of your shoulder blades, you will likely struggle to perform a proper pull-up, or at the very least your form will be sloppy. The goal of this program is to help you perform many pull-ups, with outstanding form, and while keeping your body healthy.
While the pull-up is often thought of as an upper body exercise, it is actually a full body exercise.
Without strong core muscles, including the very influential glutes and the muscles that control the movement of your shoulder blades, your pull-up performance will likely suffer.
The Ultimate Pull-Up Program, which I have spent countless months perfecting, is an extremely comprehensive 160+ page master program that will help you solve many of the problems that are preventing you from excelling at or being able to perform pull-ups in the first place. I am extremely proud of The Ultimate Pull-Up Program. It is a game-changer.
The Ultimate Pull-Up Program is a four phase program that will lead you not only to pull-up mastery, but also to a striking silhouette, and the strength to go with it.
The Ultimate Pull-Up Program will progressively and systematically help you strengthen your entire body, and develop the requisite level of technique, so you will be able to dominate your pull-ups. Each phase will last roughly four to eight weeks, and in each phase, you will:
3. Improve your upper body muscle tone/hypertrophy, so you have the ability to perform many pull-ups
4. Improve your scapular and shoulder controlled mobility, so you can travel to and from the bar with no fear
#1) Exercises for improving grip strength #2) Exercises for addressing shoulder health (stability and/or controlled mobility) #3) Exercises for addressing elbow health #4) Fundamental beginners section on breathing #5) Fundamental beginners section on bracing
All of these exercises will help improve your ability to perform pull-ups and will help keep your body feeling good (or at least help improve how it feels). Since I’ve added these exercises into my training, I’ve never felt better, and my pull-up performance has skyrocketed!
I have been a strength coach for over 15 years and have been a competitive athlete for over 25 years. I’m not just a coach who helps people get strong. I am incredibly passionate about what I do and for good reason.
When I was 28, I was in a bad car accident. This led to over five years of major body dysfunctions, various injuries, and endless heartache and frustration. I never thought there would… Read more…