Those notorious exercises – such as push-ups, knee bends, sit-ups and pull-ups – should certainly be part of any well-thought-out training plan, but women, in particular, often find it difficult to incorporate pull-ups into their regular gym routine. This does not necessarily have to do with a lack of strength alone, but rather with the fact that these exercises are often difficult to master, due to incorrect technique and lack of practice. We are going to show you the 5 best tips, to help turn pull-ups into your favourite exercise, even as a woman. You will soon be able to perform like a pro on the pull-up bar!
Tip Number 1: Pull-ups for women, with a pull-up band
You have already attempted them several times, you have tried everything, but you still cannot do proper pull-ups? Then our first tip is definitely going to help you, because: the pull-up band has proven itself to be a very popular aid, especially for pull-ups. The pull-up band is available in a variety of thicknesses and colours. Your body weight is decisive when choosing your pull-up band – avoid getting the wrong thing by informing yourself in advance. The pull-up band supports the motion sequence of the pull-ups very well. Attach the band to the pull-up bar first, then stand on it. Thanks to its flexible strength, the pull-up band makes the positive phase of the exercise – the actual pull-up – easier, thereby allowing more repetitions, even when your strength begins to wane.
Tip Number 2: Pull-ups for women, using the cluster system
Cluster pull-ups are actually not new, but they remain one of the most popular training methods, especially if you have problems doing pull-ups. The cluster workout sounds complicated, but, in no time at all, it will help you to increase the number of pull-up repetitions you can cope with.
For a cluster workout, you choose a specific goal, for example, 20 repetitions. See our article, 20 pull-ups at a time – 7 helpful tips. You begin with the first repetition and continue until you cannot manage another single pull-up properly. Then, take a short break, and as soon as you can continue, do as many pull-ups as you can manage, until you are unable to do any more. Carry on like this until you have done the 20 repetitions. At your very next workout session, you will find that you are able to do more repetitions in the first set than you were able to before!
Tip Number 3: Supported pull-ups for women
If you cannot do pull-ups alone, you should get some support – for example, you could kneel on a chair and pull yourself up from there. This reduces the movement amplitude, whilst at the same time supporting the muscles and making the exercise easier.
Absolute pull-up rookies can also stand on a chair. It is important to let yourself down in a controlled manner during the negative phase of the exercise, because this is the only way to avoid injuring yourself. Also ensure that you pull yourself up correctly: widen the chest and lower the shoulders / shoulder blades, pulling them towards the back. If you still cannot manage to do the pull-ups, try just letting yourself hang, making sure that your arms are not fully stretched. Another alternative is to have someone support you – he or she should lift you from behind.
Tip Number 4: Pull-ups for women, with a support device
Women can make use of a support device when doing pull-ups. This is a specially designed device that allows you to balance your body weight with a counterweight – the greater the counterweight, the easier the pull-ups become. When doing pull-ups on the support device, place your knees on the platform, grasp the handles and pull yourself up. You can set the counterweight yourself – try various options until you find what works for you and what does not. Remember to keep an eye on the progression. This exercise is particularly demanding on the biceps and shoulders. Most well-equipped gyms have a support device, so you can start slowly, and work your way up to perfection.
Tip Number 5: Pull-ups for women, with various grips
The right grip can also be decisive. The parallel grip or underhand grip (the so-called chin-up) is easiest. No matter which option you choose, you should always make sure that the movement is executed cleanly and flawlessly. Many athletes prefer the underhand grip, with the palms pointing towards you. Another popular grip is the overhand grip (or the "normal" grip). See our article Pull-up grips – the different pull-up grip positions.
Ideally, you should test different variations and combine them in your training plan. In practice, sticking to just one grip has proven to be suboptimal. No matter what you ultimately choose to do, you should never increase the number of repetitions at the expense of the correct technique, because if you do, problems in the shoulder area are inevitable!
Are you looking for a suitable pull-up bar to train all different kinds of pull-up variations? We at Pullup & Dip offer you various high quality and unique pull-up bars. Go check them out now!
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