The chin-up is an extremely challenging exercise which can bring impressive improvements quickly. It purposefully requires you to use a number of muscle groups, resulting in a powerful contraction of explosive energy to lift you above the bar. From strengthening your biceps to aiding flexibility and range of motion in your joints, its efficacy is undeniable. To help you achieve sure, solid results read on for our Top 5 Chin-Up Hacks!
1. Warm up
You’ve heard it before, warm up! An effective warm-up is helpful for all types of exercise and can make a huge difference. Tailoring your warm-up will ensure increased blood flow to your working muscles, preparing it for intense training and increased joint mobility. A warm-up will also improve your state of mind as you prepare your body with subtle stretching movements.
2. Optimal grip placement
Ensuring you have a well-positioned grip placement will help make the exercise easier and more comfortable, aiding in strengthening and developing your muscle groups effectively, but it doesn’t stop there. Optimal placement on the bar will reduce the risk of injury with less strain being placed on your wrists, arms, back and shoulders. By shifting the strain from your back and shoulders to your biceps brachii, it allows for an increased recruitment of the muscle with the ability to perform more explosive movements.
3. Increase strength
For optimal chin-up performance, it’s important to ensure that you are able to lift your own body weight. Increasing strength in particular areas will help increase the effectiveness of your chin-ups, thus overcoming the resistance weight. Strengthening your biceps, back and shoulder muscles through kettle swings, lat pull downs, inverted rows and wide bar rowing will all aid in your ability to perform chin ups.
4. Eccentric chin-ups
Technique mastery is the first thing. Practice performing the exercise with the aim of reaching your chin over the bar, in even single reps to start with. These will help you get used to the explosive movement.
5. Elbow and spine alignment
Using correct technique will reduce your potential for injury. Ensure your elbows are stretched and locked when hanging from the bar with your spine lengthened and maintain this spinal movement throughout the exercise whilst fully flexing your elbows in the top position. To aid control and for maximum efficacy, keep your elbows in toward your centre line.
The chin-up sounds simple enough, but it’s also one of the most demanding exercises. Done regularly though, it develops your upper body; fingers, grip, wrists, forearms, upper arms, shoulders and back like almost nothing else can. Following these tips will help you to improve, reaching your chin over the bar and then some. Got any hacks you’d love to share? Let us know below, join in the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!