Published on 5th June, 2014
Pull-up is an upper-body enhancing workout that helps strengthen the forearms, hands and shoulders. It also effects muscles in the trunk and abdominal region and is one of the most popular free-hand exercises among fitness enthusiasts.
Pull-ups are absolutely helpful and work similarly on a woman’s body as they would on a man’s. The fact that a man’s body has more muscle mass and more upper body strength does give them an upper-hand, but that should not be a deterrent in any way for women to start doing pull-ups. The physical differences in a man’s and a woman’s body should be not be an excuse to exclude pull-ups but rather the reason to take it up.
A lot of beginners are usually unable to do more than a couple of pull-ups at a time. This is can be due to weak arms, excessive body weight, discomfort or even sheer lethargy. When women take up gymming, they prefer to restrict themselves to cardio workout and stay away from weightlifting. While weightlifting is more of a personal choice, the ability to lift your own weight is always an added advantage. This helps tones your upper half of the body and also strengthens it.
Are pull-ups safe for women?
Pull-ups work on the abdominal muscles and women might find this distressing sometimes, but they are completely harm-free. Including yoga in your workout regime will help you in rising above the bar.
Yoga for better Pull-ups
Yoga is an ancient technique which promotes holistic living through pranayama and physical exercises. Practicing these simple yoga postures will help women ease their way into doing pull-ups:
1 - Adho Mukho Svanasana (Downward-facing Dog pose): The Downward-facing Dog pose strengthens the arms and shoulders. This yoga posture also tones the muscles and rejuvenates the body.
2 - Poorvottanasana (Upward Plank pose): The Upward plank pose adds strength to the wrists, arms, shoulders, back and spine. It also stretches the abdominal organs and helps relieve you of any discomfort you might have doing the pull-ups.
3 - Bhujangasana (Cobra pose): The Cobra pose opens the shoulders, tones the abdomen and strengthens the back. It also improves the flexibility of the upper and lower back, thus easing your struggle with lifting your weight on that bar.
4 - Marjariasana (Cat stretch): The Cat stretch helps strengthen the wrist and shoulders, and aids in doing pull-ups. It also tones the abdomen and relaxes the mind.
Pull-up for beginners
Doing pull-ups can be a daunting task at first but its benefits outweigh the initial discomfort you might face. You may take help by standing on a stool or chair placed below the bar. Suspend yourself from the bar and try raising yourself up. You may also take assistance of a friend to help hoist you up.
Start with about 5-10 pull-ups in the first week and then progress to 2 sets of 5-10 pull-ups. Eventually increase the sets and do at least 20 pull-ups in a single set. You will find yourself doing pull-ups with ease in no time.
Consistency and patience pays!
Rome was not built in a day. And neither would your stamina be. It takes time to be able to do proper pull-ups. Depending on your current built and prowess, you may be able to do pull-ups before your peers. Devote a fraction of your workout time to pull-ups and practice it consistently.
The Upper Hand
Women are mentally strong and more determinant than most men. Also, they are more focussed when it comes to achieving their goals. Set a reasonable target and work your way towards it. With steady practice, you may raise the bar and show how women can be at par with men in every pace of life!
Yoga practice helps develop the body and mind bringing a lot of health benefits yet is not a substitute for medicine. It is important to learn and practice yoga postures under the supervision of a trained Sri Sri Yoga teacher.