My other half is a total newbie in Fitness activities. She has had a tough time to even get through a single set of 5 Pull-Ups.

Whats the best way to get started with Pull-Ups? And, How do I support her in early days of exercise?


4 Answers 4


Pull ups are much harder for women, than for men. Males have significant more muscle mass on their upper bodies than women does, so it is natural, it is hard.

That said, focus on assisted exercises to begin with. Grip strength also plays a role, but should come quite quickly for beginners.

  • Rubber-bands
  • Assisted Pull-ups - lift her up by her feet
  • Row exercises
  • Jumping Pull-ups

Be aware that pull-ups are brutal and very hard for newbies, and try to start easy.


I was finally able to do pull-ups starting last year. I had previously tried assisted pull-ups and was never able to get up to body weight pull-ups

What finally helped me do pull-ups were a few things:

1) instead of assisted pull-ups, try negative pull-ups. You start at the top of the bar and lower yourself down in a slow, controlled motion, lasting 4-5 seconds. Do 4-5 sets of 5 of this, with 1-2 minutes rest in between

2) Inverted rows: find a bar or unused smith machine, get under the bar hanging free with your body at around a 45 degree angle to the floor, and pull yourself so your chest touches the bar. Try to be explosive during the pull portion and a slow controlled negative.

3) Lose weight. At some point in doing 1-2 above, and losing ~10 lbs through diet/exercise, I was finally able to do my first unassisted pull-ups/chin-ups. From there within a few weeks I was able to do 4-5 in a row, and now I can do 15 in a row, or multiple sets of 25lb weighted pull-ups.


Pull ups require good development of the back muscles , and you are lifting your body weight. So to increase the number of pull ups you can start doing lat pull downs on machine . These pull downs are to be performed with strict form , with no or least bent in the spine, and bringing the bar to your chins.As you progress and reach about 80-90 % of your body weight on the machine , you will be able to do more number of pullups. I myself was unable to do many pullups , still cannot do more than ten, but have increase the number really fast by focusing on lat pull down. Also doing pull ups on flat rod are more easy then doing pull ups on rod with some angle as they target more of inner middle back muscles .The idea of slow negatives also work very well, and I have started incorporating them in most of my exercises.


Use a chair to do assisted pull-ups.

Place a chair under the pull-up bar, place one leg on the chair and push against it to assist in your pull-up motion.

Using this method, you can choose how much assistance you want, and increase a bit with each pull-up. This enables you to do many more reps than would be possible without the assist.

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