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How to Get Your First Chin Up

There’s no better feeling than your first chin up. You grab the bar, hands chalked up and start to mentally prepare yourself. Its time to really pull your weight.

Your biceps and grip scream with effort. You pull down with as much effort as you can muster, slowly creeping towards the bar.

As you get closer and closer, you start to slow down. Progress is grinding to a halt. As you keep pulling with all your might your chin finally starts to clear the bar. You get a 2nd burst of energy and suddenly, your on top of the bar. You’ve done it! You’ve conquered your bodyweight, you finally didi it!

Is this you? Or despite how hard you have been trying you just can’t get your damn chin above the bar? Is it no matter how hard you try, a full chin up always seems to elude you?

If so, read on and finally get your first chin up and conquer your bodyweight.

Getting your first chin up is something that is extremely doable, but not something that many people achieve. In this article, we will talk about what muscles you need to strengthen, what capabilities you need to have and how to finally dominate chin ups.

Get a Grip

The first foundation to getting a chin up is to ensure your grip strength is up to par. You have absolutely no chance of pulling yourself over the bar if you can’t hang onto it!

We recommend our clients build up to multiple 30 second and preferably 60 second holds. These can be done as part of the warm up or throughout the workout.

Strengthen the Scapula and Train the Traps

This is probably the most important you most often avoided part of getting your first chin up. You need to have strong muscles that control your shoulder blades and a strong trapezius (a huge back muscle) to properly execute a chin up.

Watch this video for a great exercise to do just that. We highly recommend doing this at the end of a workout rather than the beginning.

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Lower Yourself Before You lift Yourself

One of the most important (and neglected!) parts of training is controlling the eccentric, or lowering phase of a movement. This phase has huge carryover to the lifting part of the movement. Watch the following video and this exercise 2x a week. ATTENTION! This may make you extremely sore, so err on the side of caution.

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If you add the following exercises we guarantee you will get your first chin up sooner than expected. Stay tuned for an upcoming program that pulls all this together!

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