Chin Ups and Chin Up Exercise

Chin up

The chin up exercise is used to build up upperbody strength, it is specifically designed for strengthening the latissimus dorsi(the larger, flat, dorso-lateral muscle).

Chin up form

The chin up exercise is performed in a specific manner. As the exerciser grips a fixed chin-up bar with a supinated grip (palms facing the exerciser),The entire body is pulled up until the upper chest touches the chin up bar. The exerciser than lowers his entire body until the arms are straight, and the exercise is thus repeated. However chin-ups can be done with a kip (done with help from the legs and back). The chin up exercise can also be done from a dead hang ( the body is kept straight and completely still). Performing the chin-up exercise will be most effective when the body is lowered down to a full extension. Do not confuse chin-ups with pull-ups. Pull-ups are done with a pronated grip (palms facing away from the exerciser).

Chin ups and the muscles they target

Chin ups target the latissimus dorsi muscle which is assisted by the biceps brachii, teres major, brachioradialis, brachialis, posterior deltoid, levator scapulae, infraspinatus, rhomboids, teres minor, pectoralis and trapzius muscles.

Chin up exercises and variations

Mountain Climber chin-ups - the exerciser stands directly under the chin-up bar, palms facing each other. This chin up exercise is done as the head alternates from left to right with each chin-up.

Sternal chinups - this chin up uses a full range of motion, as the sternum is raised to the chin-up bar. This leaves the elbows directly below the shoulders.

Supine chin-ups - the supine position (horizontal position), the arms grip the chin-up bar perpendicular to the body as the chest is pulled towards the bar instead of the chin. This variation uses the teres and trapezius muscles more than the regular vertical chin-ups.

Towel chin-ups - A towel is looped over the chin-up bar and the towel is gripped instead of the bar.

One arm chin-ups - This chin up exercise is done with only one hand as the exerciser pulls himself up with no help other than his one hand and arm. This type of chin-up requires alot of strength.

Weighted chin-ups - Extra weight is added to the body such as dumbbells between the feet, ankle weights and kettle bells.

One forearmed chin-ups - This chin up exercise is done as one hand grips the bar and the other hand holds the upper arm of the gripping hand between the elbow and shoulder.

One handed chin-ups - One hand grips the bar while the other hand holds the wrist of the gripping hand.

Increasing chin-up ability

In order for a person to increase the number of chin-ups performed, specific training is required.

When doing chin up exercises it is recommended to have good form and try to do them without touching the floor. This takes a lot of practice.

Push to increase your number of repetitions in a specified time.

Push to increase your number of repetitions with extra weight.

Chin up exercises for beginners

For a person who is not strong enough to perform a concentric chin-up, it is best to start out with a negative chin-up. This type of chin-up is executed with the help of another person as the exerciser is assisted to the top position and ends of with a slow, controlled descent.

Beginners can also make use of an assisted chin-up machine where the exerciser stands on a bar with a counterweight to reduce the weight that one pulls up.

Stretching and warm ups before chin up exercise

Before you perform a chin up exercise you should take about 15 minutes to warm up and stretch the muscles. This will reduce the chance of injury. There are various forms of muscle stretching such as Static Muscle Stretching, and Dynamic Muscle Stretching.

Chin up bar training

When beginning chin up exercises a may be very difficult for you to do them. That's quite alright, this is natural. The solution would be to get yourself a chair and assist your chin ups with your legs. With enough practice and effort you will be able to perform a chin up by yourself. As you progress keep trying to increase your number of chin ups.

Chin up exercise for endurance

If you want to build endurance with your chin up exercise, perform them slowly. This is also difficult, but when you get good at it you'll find yourself doing more chin ups than you thought you were capable of. The key to mastering slow endurance chin ups is will power. It is extremely hard to force yourself to keep going. Try to first master sets of four.

Chin up exercise for strength

When doing chin ups for strength you must do as many as you possibly can until you reach muscle failure. You can work between strength training and endurance training. After you work your way up to 12 chin ups increase resistance by adding small (5 to 10 lbs) ankle weights or waist weights. You can also attempt to perform one arm assisted chin ups.

Chin up lockoffs

Chin up lockoffs is a technique used to improve strength-endurance. This chin up exercise is performed in alternate sets between arms spread apart, then close together. As you perform these, let your heart rate come down between sets, then start again. Do sets of four.

Chin up exercise summary

Training your upper body is very beneficial to your heart and your overall health. You can purchase a chin up bar online or at any spots authority store near you. By doing a variety of chin up exercises you will improve your strength and endurance and also your upper body will look much more eye catching, if you know what I mean.