David Ball PT

Storm Fitness PT

Chin Ups

Image

Recently I’ve been getting a lot of my female clients to do chin up variations (whether they like it or not). Chins are one of the toughest strength exercises you can do, with some describing them as the upper body squat. Many people tend to shy away from chins and use the lat pulldown machine instead, generally because it’s easier, although the lat pulldown can play an important role when trying for higher reps. Achieving one chin is a real achievement, many reps and maybe with extra weight is a real badge of honour.

To be clear, I’m talking about lifting your body weight from a straight arm, palms facing you, hanging position and then using your back and biceps to lift to a position where your arms are bent and the chest is at the same height as the hands.

There are many benefits to chins,

  • Developing the strength to move your own body weight.

  • Works many different muscles at the same time.

  • Significant abdominal activation…..It works your abs.

  • Improves your grip strength

  • Big lift therefore, big strength gains and big fat loss.

 

Sometimes getting that first rep can be a major step so with my clients I will help them by either holding by their feet or hips to give a little “push” as they pull, until they can manage reps alone. If you’re struggling to get that first rep and training alone I’d recommend some negative reps. Use a step so that you’re already at the top of the movement, chest high, arms bent, slowly take your feet from the box and lower yourself as slowly as possible until you have your arms completely straight. Try adding 4-5 sets of 5 reps into your workouts.

If you can already manage a few reps a great way of increasing your maximum repetitions is to try some pull up ladders. First you need to know what your maximum is, so previously you should have tried as many repetitions as you can for one set, then take 2 away from that number. This is how your sets would end up looking if your maximum attempt was 5 reps.

Ladder 1

Ladder 2

Ladder 3

1 reps

1 reps

1 reps

2 reps

2 reps

2 reps

3 reps

3 reps

3 reps

 

30secs rest between every “rung” on the ladder and in between ladders. After 3- 4 weeks of trying this method retake your maximum and see how much you’ve improved by. Say this time you managed 7. Here’s how it would look.

 

Ladder 1

Ladder 2

Ladder 3

1

1

1

2

2

2

3

3

3

4

4

4

5

5

5

 

 

Once you start getting good at chins you can try some variations to challenge different muscles, for example a wider grip, behind the neck, palms facing. If you’re pretty strong and can manage a few wide grip pull ups try this challenge and encourage some major back muscle growth.

Exercise 1 Wide Pull Ups Many reps as possible 10secs rest

Exercise 2 Semi Supinated (palms facing) Pull Ups Many reps as possible 10secs rest

Exercise 3   Chins Many reps as possible

 

Rest 2 min, 3 sets in total.

 

Whatever your current ability with chins try one of the plans above and watch your strength levels improve.

 

For more training tips contact me, David Ball on 07919353614 or contact me via twitter @ballavont. Also check out the Storm Fitness Facebook page.

 

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This entry was posted on October 13, 2013 by in Uncategorized.
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