Monday, 9 April 2012

Proper Chin Up Explained

The Chin up is a great mass building exercise that people often neglect in their back routine because they're hard to do and it's so much easier to do a lat pull-down. People often find it hard to do a lot of chin ups and i was very much the same way for years. Last year at this time i could do a max of 7 body weight chin ups, i felt weak and embarrassed at the gym because i couldn't even do a set of 10. It was something that i knew i had to do and now i'm doing sets of 10 with a 65 pound dumbbell between my legs. If you want to put on width to your back, it's a must to hit them with chin ups at every workout.

A Chin up is about activating the back muscles to pull yourself up even with the bar and your elbows bent to 90 degrees. You first have to view your hands as hangers and let them hold you in place and not lift you. The forearms are a much smaller muscle and will fatigue much sooner than the back, plus you are focusing on your back muscles as this is not a forearm exercise.

The next step once you have your hands well gripped on the bar is to hang with your feet in the air and look up at the ceiling. You want your head to be back and have a fairly dramatic curve in you back. The further you arch your head back, the more you'll activate the back muscles during the movement.

Keeping your hands and arms relatively relaxed, focus on pulling yourself up with your back muscle and squeezing your lats together at the top of the motion. You should be able to hold at the top for a 1 count before returning back down to the original position.

If you aren't capable of doing a full set of body weight chin ups yet, I suggest using a weight chin up machine as shown in the above picture. Thanks to my brother for being a good sport and demonstrating how to use it when i put him through a workout. This is one of the only machines that work opposite to the rest of the machines in the gym because the less weight you up, the harder it is, the more weight the easier it is. The same principles apply with the machine and work your way up to using less weight until you are about to do body weight chin ups.       

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