Female Athletes: 5 Tips to Conquer Your First Strict Pull-Up

For many female athletes, mastering the strict pull-up is a formidable goal that demonstrates incredible upper body strength and determination.

And in the sport of CrossFit, a strict pull-up considered the “gateway exercise” for many advanced gymnastics.

Here are 5 tips to help you on your strict pull-up journey, starting TODAY!

  1. Focus on Isometric Holds: Isometric holds are an extremely effective way to build the strength you need for strong pull-ups. Perform static hangs from the pull-up bar, holding yourself at the top and bottom positions. This challenges your muscles to stabilize and engage, contributing to the strength required for a strict pull-up.
  2. Incorporate Toes Assisted Pull-Ups: Instead of using a band, set up a bar on a rig and use your legs to be the assistance you need to get your chin over. As you get stronger the goal will be to use less and less assistance.
  3. Diversify Grip Training: Work on strengthening your grip by incorporating various grip positions. Mix in overhand, underhand, and mixed grips to target different muscles and improve overall grip strength. A strong grip is essential for maintaining control during a strict pull-up.
  4. Utilize Compound Exercises: Engage in compound exercises that target the muscles involved in pull-ups. Focus on movements like bent-over rows, inverted rows, and face pulls to strengthen your back, shoulders, and arms. These exercises contribute to overall upper body strength, laying a solid foundation for mastering the strict pull-up.
  5. Include Plyometric Training: Integrate plyometric exercises into your routine to enhance explosive strength. Movements like jumping pull-ups can help develop the power required for the initial pull-up phase. Plyometric training adds a dynamic element to your workout, contributing to the overall strength needed for strict pull-ups.

Commit to working on SOMETHING pull-up related 3-4 days a week.

Even if it’s a few :30 sessions of hangs from the bar, or adding in a couple rounds of farmers carries after regular training.

The more you can focus on building upper body strength, grip, and core, the faster you will see your strict pull-up come along!

Want to take the guesswork out of creating a pull-up plan (and speed your progress along?) – check out our 8 Week Pull-Up program (quickly becoming the “go to” pull-up program for ALL women!)