Pull-ups and chin-ups are advanced bodyweight moves that make many people’s lists of Blue Sky Goals — “I’d love to be able to, but I don’t think it will ever happen.” They are doable! Check out these options for pull-up progressions:
— Nick Janvier’s Start Bodyweight has several progressions available, including pull-ups. Janvier’s focus is on training parts of the movement until you can put the whole thing together.
— Nerd Fitness has a progression, too — this program includes “accessory” exercises, dumbbell rows, and then moves on to building on your new skill.
— Mark Lauren’s You Are Your Own Gym products include working toward pull-ups.
Women: Think pull-ups aren’t for you? They are!
Although women are often simply pointed to the assisted pull-up or lat pull-down machines in the gym, we can use the same progressions men do. Go ahead and try any of these — their emphasis on practicing the movement itself and on partial moves like “negatives” (where you start at the top of the bar, and lower yourself down with control) will get you there. The main difference between most men and most women in getting to pull-ups is that boys often got more practice with the movement as kids, so women may need to work longer to get that first full pull-up.