Chin-ups… You Vs. Gravity
One of the most beneficial upper body exercises you can do is a chin-up. With different variations of tempos you can trigger different adaptations. Tempo is the speed of execution during a weight training exercise, which determines the desired training response.
The reason this is one of the most beneficial upper body exercises is because it in-volves nine different muscles including: bicep, bicep brachii, latissimusdorsi, teres major, posterior deltoid, rhomboids, the sternal portion of pectoralis major, lower portion of the trapezius, and the elbow flexors. With involving all of these muscles in an exercise your body will exert more energy making it a more difficult exercise. You need to make sure that you a going the full range of motion, which for a chin-up at the start you want to be fully hanging and extended unless your doing eccentric only training. Your arms, legs, and torso should all be in line with each other throughout the entire exercise with attempt in keeping your legs tucked back and not traveling forward.. You also want to avoid “kipping” (using your knees as momentum) because when you kipp you are putting extreme stress on the joints, possibility of should impingement syndromes and especially injure the long head of the bicep.
What will aid your success?
Breathing – with any exercise breathing is crucial. When performing a chin-up the most beneficial time to inhale is on the way up and the most beneficial time to ex-hale is on the way down.
Mental focus – the movement of a chin-up isn’t to bring your shoulder to the bar it’s actually to bring your elbow back. If you can remember that you will become more explosive.
Strength – getting your trap 3 and scapulae strong will assist you tremendously to be successful in achieving a chin-up as well as improving your grip strength.
- Assisted machine – this aids you in the concentric portion of a chin-up.
- Partner Chin-up 1 – your partner will hold both feet and if you need help you will press your feet against your partners hands.
- Partner Chin-up 2 – Same thing except this time your partner will only hold one foot with the other foot increasing the load.
- Partner Chin-up 3 – Same as 1 and 2, but this time your partner will hold your waste.
- If you don’t have a partner – wrap a large band around your chin-up bar, then use the progression of if you were to have a partner (2 legs in or 1 leg in)
- Grip Progression
- Close Grip
- Medium Grip
- Supinated Grip – palms facing your face
- Neutral Grip – palms facing each other
- Sternum Chin-up – palms facing your face when you raise your body up in-stead of just your chin clearing the bar your sternum becomes equal with the bar
As a rule of thumb with chin ups, the wider your grip positioning gets, the harder the exercise. Typically the supinated grip position will be your strongest grip posi-tions for it uses our strong back muscles as well as assistance from the biceps bra-chii. But this is not the case all the time for some people have a stronger brachialis and brachioradialis than their biceps brachii, making the neutral grip position a stronger chin up potential. Sternum chins are the hardest for range of motion is greater.
Are you ready for chin-ups? To learn more about our Grand Rapids personal trainers or to schedule your free fitness consultation, please contact us here or call us directly at 616.259.9064.