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So You Want to Complete a Chin Up?

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Chin Ups are an exercise that a lot of people aspire to be able to do.  
They are hard, but once you are able to do them, you will feel very strong, and you will really reap the rewards of all the hard work you put in to them!    
Before you even attempt doing Chin Ups, you need to have a pretty strong level of fitness and strength to begin with.  
The muscles that you want to focus on strengthening initially are:
  • Latisimus Dorsi
  • Biceps Brachii
  • Infraspinatus
  • Trapezius
  • Pectoralis Major
  • Erector Spinae
  • External Obliques


The Latisimus Dorsi (back muscles), Biceps Brachii (front of arm muscles), and External Obliques (core muscles) are the 3 biggest keys. See sample exercises below.

For the Latisimum Dorsi:


For the Biceps:


For the External Obliques:

1. Start with your feet stacked and arms down.
2. Lift your arm and extend straight up.

3. Rotate your arm and reach under your body.

If your abs aren’t strong enough, it’s going to be hard to develop the strength in your extremities that will help you achieve a Chin Up.
Once you are at the stage where you feel like you’ve been exercising and weight training 4-5 X/week for at least 6 months consistently, I would say then you might be well on your way to at least giving Chin Ups a go.    
I’ll warn you... they are hard, they take a really long time to be able to do, and you may get frustrated. 
It’s just practice, practice, practice.
There’s more to it than just strength, it’s also about a connectivity within the body.  
You’ll need to think about using everything all at once as ONE UNIT -- contracting all the muscles of your upper body at one time so that you can pull your entire body weight up.
Once you get the first one under your belt, you’ll know how the process feels. Then, you just practice, practice, practice!  I’m not going to say it gets easier right away, but you’ll have a clear idea of what you’re striving towards.
One of my biggest tips in terms of how to develop the strength to be able to do a Chin Up is to work on the ‘negative’ – the part where you lower yourself from the bar. 
Step 1
Use a chair or a stool so you can get yourself to the top position of the Chin Up.
Step 2
Hold yourself there as long as you can, then SLOWLY lower yourself down.
Step 3
Take a break. Give yourself a little bit of rest. Shake it out.
Step 4
Repeat Steps 1-4.
This is very tiresome!  You may find initially that you can’t hold yourself up for very long.  
That’s okay! Just work at building and building and building, and eventually you’ll get there.
To check out how to execute the “negative” of a Chin Up, click here to watch my YouTube video.
If any of you are working towards your first chin up, or maybe a milestone of your first 5 or your first 10, or for some of you even your first 15... send me an email.   I love hearing updates from you.  
Definitely give it a go.  It works!
Good luck!
Looking for more assistance with your personal training?  Contact me here.
Blog posted from Edmonton, AB, Canada View larger map


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Guest Wednesday, 24 May 2017