Doing Your First Pull-Up As A Girl

Girls are usually afraid of strength training. They think that even doing a single push-up may turn them into the female version of Hercules.

This is not going to happen unless you abuse the hell out of many anabolic steroids and turn yourself into an alien.


This article will help you get your first pull-up as a girl. It does not matter how weak you are right now – we’ll take you there.

However, we only have one condition – if you are obese lose some weight first. In fact if you are really fat, losing weight (the right way) should be your priority instead of bothering with stuff like your first pull-up. Take it one step at a time.

Why are pull-ups so hard for girls?

Pull-ups are hard for both – men and women. Chances are that if you are traveling on a public bus – 95% of the people haven’t done or attempted a single pull-up in the last 5 years or more. You are much close to your first pull-up than they are.

Doing your first pull-up is hard because it requires you to lift your whole weight (minus your forearms) by using only your arms and back. That’s pretty tough by today’s standards but don’t worry – it’s not as difficult as it sounds right now.

One Step At A Time

Before you run you learn how to walk and before you are able to walk you crawl. This rule holds true even for people like Usain Bolt.

When you can’t do a pull-up you should always start by doing Australian pull-ups a.k.a. bodyweight rows. This exercise is essentially the opposite of the push-up.

To perform it correctly follow these steps:

1.Find a secure low pull-up bar, a pair of Olympic rings or something that allows you to hang but is not as high as a regular pull-up bar.

2.Squeeze the bar/rings very tight and hang. If you are doing it correctly, you will be in a reverse push-up position.

Note: As a beginner use shoulder width grip.

3.Bend your legs at the knees, assume starting position and make sure that your core is tight and your back is straight.

4.Pull-up yourself up until your chest is really close or touches the bar.

5.Go back to starting position under control.

Consult the video below for more clearance on how to do the movement:


Note: The man in the video is doing the Australin pull-ups with his knees straight. If that version is too hard for you, bend your legs at the knees while STILL keeping your back straight and do the movement this way.

Once your able to do about 3 sets of 10 repetitions with your legs bent start doing the exercise with your legs straight as demonstrated in the video. Work up to 3 sets of 8-10 repetitions and move up to the next progression.

Note: If you can’t do the version of the exercise even with bent legs, raise the bar little bit so that you’re closer to standing position. This shift more of the weight to your legs.

Hanging From The Bar

Once you able to perform Australian pull-ups for 3 sets of 8 repetitions, you ready for the next progression which is simply hanging from a pull-up bar. Find a pull-up bar, grab it at shoulder width and hang. That’s it. Keep your shoulders relaxed and hang.

Keep doing this exercise for time and work up to 1-2 full minutes. At the same time don’t stop doing your Australian pull-ups. This will develop grip strength and will also condition your lat muscles for what’s coming next.

Chair Pull-ups

Find a stable chair and put it under a pull-up bar. Hang from the bar. Place your legs at the chair and pull yourself up under control while using your legs for additional support. Do this exercise for a few weeks until you are able to perform 3 sets 10 reps.

Don’t stop doing your Australian pull-ups while you are working on this version.

Single Leg Chair Pull-ups

This version of the exercise is the same as the above except that you are using only one leg for additional strength. Work up to 3 sets of 10 reps. You may have balance issues – be careful not to fall.

Don’t stop doing your Australian pull-ups while you are working on this version.

Partial Support Pull-ups

Once you’ve mastered the single leg chair push-ups try to pull yourself up without using support from your legs. When you get stuck use your leg to finish the movement. Even if you move up just a few inches before using your legs for help, it’s perfectly fine.

Do that movement for a few weeks while also trying to improve your Australian pull-ups. Before you know it all of this will get pretty boring. This is the time to attempt your first pull-up. You may be able to get it, but you may also fail. Don’t worry, just keep working on your partial pull-ups and try to use your legs less and less.


1.How long will it take me to get my first pull-up?

It depends on your current strength level, but you will need at least 2 months if you are not very strong. For an average female it may take about 4 months. However, there’s no accurate way to measure the time period.

2.What’s the science behind this method?

It’s quite simple – the Australian pull-ups build dynamic strength while the holds and the partial movements condition your joints for real pull-ups.

3.Why no negative pull-ups?

Negative repetitions are too stressful on the joints and we try to avoid that.

Good luck on the way to your first pull-up.

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