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There's a reason why the military uses pull-ups in basic training: they're tough! "Most women can't do one pull-up," says Pire, referring to the exercise formerly known as a chin-up. We tend to do more pushing than pulling moves in our everyday activities, which can lead to weak upper-back muscles and contribute to neck aches and pains. "It can also lead to shoulder weakness, which in turn leads to pain and dysfunction. Pull-ups can help correct that imbalance. Add these to your upper-body workout once or twice a week for a defined back and strong upper body.
(Assisted) Pull-Ups: Stand on a box or have a partner help push you to the proper pull-up position, with hands shoulder-width apart, palms facing away from you with chin over the bar. Slowly lower your body and try to fight gravity for five seconds. Repeat. As you become stronger, try to pull yourself up on your own to complete the pull-up.
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