Understanding the Difficulty of Push-Ups and Pull-Ups for Women

Embarking on a fitness journey often presents unique challenges, and for many women, mastering push-ups and pull-ups can be particularly daunting.

In this blog post, we delve into the physiological factors that contribute to the perceived difficulty of these exercises for women. From upper body strength differentials to the impact of social media narratives, we explore the nuances surrounding this fitness conundrum.

Upper Body Strength Discrepancy

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Men consistently exhibit a remarkable 50% higher average upper body strength than women, a factor attributed to the distribution of lean body mass. With women’s lean body mass concentrated less in the upper body, a subsequent strength gap of 40-60% arises.

Lower Body Strength Dynamics

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Surprisingly, the gap in lower body strength between men and women is only half that of upper body strength, with men’s strength being 25% higher on average. This distinction highlights the complexity of the challenges women face in upper body-centric exercises like push-ups and pull-ups.

Social Media Influence

Observing social media, one may witness women showcasing commendable strength in squats and deadlifts. However, the prevalence of heavy bench presses among women is noticeably lower. This phenomenon can be attributed to a natural inclination to display accomplishments in activities where women feel more proficient.

Grip Strength Disparity

Grip strength, a pivotal aspect in exercises like pull-ups, sees women at a disadvantage with an average 41% lower grip strength compared to men. This nuanced difference underscores the multifaceted nature of the challenges encountered in upper body-focused workouts.


While statistics may suggest inherent difficulties, it is crucial to dispel the notion that push-ups and pull-ups are insurmountable for women. In my experience as a personal trainer, I have witnessed women achieve remarkable success in both these exercises through strategic progression. The key lies in a tailored approach that acknowledges the unique physiology of women and systematically builds strength over time.

Curious to explore how tailored training can help you conquer push-ups and pull-ups?

Feel free to reach out and inquire about my personalized training services.

Empower yourself with targeted strategies and unlock your full fitness potential. Let’s embark on this journey together.