Like with so many other exercises, getting to the first pull-up is usually the hardest. I remember when I started CrossFit back in 2008. The expectations for female CrossFitter were much lower, and only 1 girl in our box could actually do a kipping pull-up. Nevertheless I started practicing all sorts of scaling versions and assistance exercises for the pull-up and was eventually able to get one (and since, many more). Even if it took a long time (> 6 months) for me, I was never really frustrated because nobody expected me to be able to do pull-ups. However, today a lot has changed – it seems like ALL girls can rep out huge sets of pull-ups. I see how that is hard for women (and men!) new to CrossFit, and many expect to learn how to do butterfly pull-ups in the first week of CrossFit. However, times may change – but physics do not. A pull-up is a hard exercise to master, especially if you don’t come from a sports background. DONT’T STRESS if you have been CrossFitting for some time and still struggle with the pull-ups. Just follow a methodical approach and remember the hierarchy:
1) ‘Real’ strict pull-ups, 2) Kipping pull-ups, 3) Butterfly pull-ups.
DON’T skip step 1 !! Even if you learn how to aggressively swing yourself into something that resembles ‘chin-over-the-bar”, your shoulders will not be prepared for it, if you don’t have the strength to do a proper pull-up. Therefore, getting a strict pull-up (or several is actually better) should always be first point of call. – Ditte