A belief in the world of fitness is that women cannot do pull-ups, or definitely not as many as men because men happen to have more muscle mass and upper body strength. Scientists have so far agreed on this. University of Dayton researchers took 17 normal weight women who could not do pull-ups. They were made to do exercises to strengthen biceps and back muscles. They also received aerobic training to reduce body fat. But by the end of the program, only 4 women among the 17 women could do a single pull-up even though their upper body strength increased by 36 % and body fat lowered by 2%.
But there is one science that promises to compliment and strengthen upper body strength enough to enable women to do pull-ups successfully. That is the science of yoga. With Yoga along with some help from Ayurveda, women can increase their upper body strength sustainably to be able to do pull-ups without being held back by the physiological differences between genders.
What is a pull-up?
A pull-up requires you to place your hands on a raised bar using a grip overhand. Your arms are fully extended and feet off the floor.
Why do pull-ups?
· Pull-ups strengthen shoulders, forearms and hands.
· Trunk and abdominal muscles get good workout
· It is every fitness freak’s dream to be able to do pull-ups successfully.
· They are a holistic exercise involving multiple muscle groups in the body
· Improved grip helps you better your deadlifts or other forms of exercises that require top notch gripping abilities.
How can Yoga And Ayurveda help?
Sustained practice of Yoga postures with co-ordinated breathing can help you rise above the bar irrespective of whether or not you are a man or woman but especially if you are a woman!
1. Adho Mukho Svanasana (Downward-facing Dog pose)
This posture strengthens the arms and shoulders, tones muscle and rejuvenates the body.
2. Poorvottanasana (Upward Plank pose)
It builds strength in wrists, arms, shoulders, back and spine while stretching the abdominal organs. It prepares you for pull-ups by removing discomfort of any sort.
3.Bhujangasana (Cobra pose)
This works on your shoulder strength, tones your abdominal muscles and strengthens your back. It makes upper and lower back more flexible.
4.Marjariasana (Cat stretch)
This posture works wonders on your wrist and shoulder strength, tones abdomen and prepares you mentally to take on your Pull-up goals.
5. Abhyanga or full body oil massage
Now when you start off with pull-up practices, it is possible you may end up with soreness in your muscles. Do not let it hold you back if you find it has not emanated from a serious muscle injury. This is what you can do instead.
Ayurveda recommends daily oil massage to keep the bones lubricated, increase stamina and remove muscles fatigue. An oil massage regulates Vata, increases blood circulation and supports the detoxification in the body. But one of its most important applications is in healing the muscles when muscles undergo microscopic breakage due to a new workout regime or exertion of muscles beyond what they are sued to. The human body’s immune system takes over at such times and heals the breakage internally. At such times, oil massage with natural oils prepared for the specific purpose like Shankara’s Muscle Release Oil can go a long way in releasing the pain and soreness from the muscles. The oil, a unique blend of eastern herbal essences and actives from the west like sunflower, almond, sesame, aloe vera, castor, jojoba, sweet birch, lavender, cedarwood, frankincense, devils claw, boswellia among others, is widely being used by those who are into sports, Yoga or some form of workout that works up the muscle tissues of the body.
Disclaimer: This article is only for informational purposes. It is strongly recommended that you learn and practice these Asanas under the guidance and supervision of a trained and certified Sri Sri Yoga faculty.