One of the reasons why women tend to veer toward the “lean” version of P90X is that they are afraid of all those push-ups and pull-ups. Namely, the pull-ups that most women can’t even do (lifting your entire body And once we can do ONE we’re nearly finished with P90X and it seems that the most I’ve ever known a woman to do is three (with the exception of the German from Chest & Back and the world-famous Drea Webber of course). Sometimes mid-chair-assisted pull-up I want to just give up. What’s the point? How often do you hear a guy say “Check out that girl’s back? So hot!” After thinking this over, I decided to do some research on why pull-ups are beneficial to women.
- They burn fat. As women, that’s the main reason we work out isn’t it? Well luckily, pull-ups work more than just your back – they work your back, biceps, forearms, and abdominals simultaneously. Any exercise that works more than one muscle group also burns more calories and torches more fat. My heart rate gets very high when I’m really going after some pull-ups or chin-ups, which is a very good sign that I’m burning calories. It really gets going when I try to do them unassisted, probably because you really can’t half-ass those!
- Improve your posture. The main back muscles worked during a pull-up are the latissimus dorsi, teres major, rotator cuff and rhomboids – fancy names for the muscles that keep your back strong. The stronger the back, the easier it will be for you to sit up straight at your computer all day long. Improved posture can reduce back pain as well as make your body appear longer and slimmer.
- They are the most efficient method for building back strength. Although there are a variety of weight-machines and free weight exercises that will help build a strong back, no work-out is as efficient as the pull-up. You have to lift your entire body during a pull-up; how often can you find weights to lift that weigh as much as you do?
- Strong backs are sexy. You aren’t going to build a massive, muscle man-back when you do pull-ups. Rather, you will build a very lean, muscular looking back that looks great in dresses and tank tops. Remember, muscle is more dense than fat – so by building back muscle and reducing back fat, you are only going to get slimmer, not bigger.
- Your womanly strength can deter unwanted attention from creepy men. Ok this one I added in for fun. During my research I came across this article on Associated Content that stated “Imagine you’re on a bus and you notice a creepy looking man staring at you. Here’s how to scare the pants off him and make him stop: You know that bar that goes across the top of the bus that people hang onto? Meet the man’s eyes, place your hands on the bar, and hang, while continuing to stare at him. Then start doing pull-ups. His eyes will pop out and he will stop bothering you.” Now that is creepy.
Monkeys and apes that climb trees for a living work with their own bodyweight. They don’t lift weights or use machines. And so, is it any wonder that a 60 pound chimpanzee has 3x the strength of an athletic male – While a gorilla has the strength of 10 Olympic weight lifters? (squidoo.com).