When it comes to working out to get into fighting shape, Brie Larson, who is currently filming Captain Marvel and is in postproduction on a new movie in the Avengers franchise, is no joke. She looks for movements that sculpt and strengthen her entire body and almost nothing competes to being able to do the perfect pull-up, said her trainer Jason Walsh.
"There are a lot of misconceptions about women not having the upper body strength to do a pull-up, but in reality, it's a great goal to have. There is no reason that anyone shouldn't be able to do a pull-up. There are so many benefits to having upper body strength and no, pull-ups will not bulk you up," he said.
Pull-ups, he noted, not only work out the arms and grip strength, but they also work a large amount of muscle groups in your back, including the deltoids, lats, and spinal erectors, for example. These, he said, are all the muscle groups that help connect everything from the upper and lower body. Additionally, he adds core and abdominal training to his pull-ups, coaching his clients to keep their knees tucked in and tight to the body instead of just letting their legs hang.
In order to get Larson's results and really master the perfect pull-up, Walsh said he starts with several steps.
"A pull-up is a lot of learning and there are a plethora of ways to start the progression," he said.
Walsh noted that he begins with teaching his clients how to hold themselves up properly against their own weight. Then, he moves into an isometric hold where they build up time holding themselves up. After being able to hold themselves up on a pull-up bar for 30 seconds or more, Walsh lets them know they are ready for a pull-up.
"After they are able to link two pull-ups together, they're doing it the right way," he said.
If you're looking to start doing pull-ups on a regular basis, Walsh does recommend starting from the beginning with progression. This helps to build up muscle strength as well as aids in proper form.
"Eventually, it all starts to work and it starts to groove," he said. "This is about finding the weakest links and making them stronger. It will all come together, but it just takes a little patience and time to get it right."