Girls Run Wild

So You Want to do a Pull Up…

Posted on: July 7, 2011

In May, Tom Woodward provided an awesome contribution to my blog in which he discussed the importance of strength training for endurance runners.  One exercise that Tom spoke about was pull-ups, which are great for strength testing – and building.  However, women often find it very difficult to do one pull-up, let alone a set of them.  So, I asked Tom, how does one go about building up enough strength to be able to do one (without assistance – or a huge jump) and then a full set?

Tom’s response:

Practice, practice, practice.  Just keep at it.  One exercise that is great for building your strength is jumping hangs with a negative.  Find a pull-up bar you can grab and jump up to the top (so that your chin is above the bar – not your body) then hold at the top as long as possible and lower down slowly. Do like 20 of these per workout a few times a week and that will build pull-up strength a lot.  An example of this exercise can be found here

Tom’s last words on pull-ups: NO KIPPING.

If you have any more questions for Tom, feel free to contact him at


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