Personal trainer Marisa Inda shows off some ridiculous upper-body strength in this video, posted to her YouTube page. Not only is she doing slow, controlled (read: super hard) pull-ups for a full minute, she dances as she hangs from the bar.
The 38-year-old competitive powerlifter and mom of two choreographed her moves to a remix of Eurythmics’ “Here Comes the Rain Again.” The video has racked up more than 1.1 million views since being posted on January 10, and Mashable called her "the Beyoncé of pull-ups."
Meanwhile, it’s tough enough for the average woman to do a single pull-up. Male Marine Corps recruits have to do at least three pull-ups or chin-ups during fitness testing, but female trainees don't currently have to meet the same requirements. The Marines initially changed the standards in 2013 to include women, but they quietly reversed the policy after 55% of the female recruits couldn't get to three.
Whether pull-ups are a good measure of fitness is up for debate. In order to test the theory, researchers at the University of Dayton spent three months training 17 normal-weight women who couldn’t make it up to the bar. These women lifted weights, practiced modified pull-ups, and tackled aerobic training to boost their upper-body strength, all in the hopes that they'd be able to do at least one pull-up. But the researchers were surprised to find that only 4 of the 17 women could do a single pull-up at the end of the training period.
Paul Vanderburgh, one of the authors of that 2012 study, told The New York Times that the results suggest that a pull-up requires more than just upper-body strength: men and women who can perform the move also tend to have low body fat and are shorter in stature.
If you can't get through one now, with time and practice, a pull-up may be possible for some people, but not others. But dance moves like Marisa's? That's natural talent.