How you can Develop your  Chin-Ups (and Pull-Ups)

How you can Develop your Chin-Ups (and Pull-Ups)

You can develop your chin-ups/pull-ups from nothing.

Do you believe they are impossible?

I’m going to explain how they aren’t by giving you 5 exercises to get you started. First, here is a quick lesson on strength.

Strength & Muscle Actions

Ok,  Our muscles are connected to our nervous system. Being strong comes from a number of factors but generally due to having a very efficient (highly active) nervous system. Think about a gymnast or acrobat. The body control they develop to do the crazy things they do comes from constantly pushing the boundaries of there own nervous system.

I won’t go into the complexities of how the muscles interact with the nervous system but know this; there are 3 types of muscle actions

Concentric =  When a muscle shortens eg pulling myself up in a pull-up.

Eccentric = When a muscle lengthens eg lowering myself down in a pull-up.

Isometric = When the muscle contracts without moving eg holding a plank.

How to Build Up Your Chin-Up Strength

Ok, let’s get to the good stuff.  You can’t imagine how on earth you’re going to do a pull-up, here is where you should begin.

1) Banded Pull Aparts

Great exercise for activating back muscles before training! I always do this before my training sessions or ninja comps. Your nervous system is like the pistons of a car, it needs to be warmed up!

1) Find an appropriate band, best to start with the thinnest one.

2) Start with arms shoulder width apart or wider.

3) Squeeze shoulder blades first and pull band towards the chest.

4) Make sure you control on the way back!

Set & Reps

Try 3 x 10 in warm up. As you get stronger over time use a thicker band.

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Check out Week 1 of our Entry Level Program!

2) Isometric Single Arm Pulls

Another great exercise for activating back muscles before training! This exercise uses isometric contractions to help coordinate the arm and back muscles to work together.

1) Find a pole or something you can hold onto.

2) Get in a comfortable position so you don’t lose balance.

3) Squeeze shoulder blades first & then pull with the arm.

4) Gradually increase tension by pulling harder.

Set & Reps

Try 3 x 10 holding for 2-3 secs in warm up. As you get stronger begin to pull a little harder and longer (4-5 secs) to increase activation.

3) Dead Hang

This is where it all starts! You need to be able to hang on the bar first. This exercise will help develop the grip strength.

1) Begin by finding an appropriate size box.

2) Grab the bar with an overhand grip.

3) Squeeze thumb over fingers and squeeze
abs & glutes.

Set & Reps

Beginner: 3 x 15-30s

Intermediate: 3 x 30-60s

Advance: 3 x 60+

4) Scapula Retractions

Now after you’ve done your warm-up & have the grip strength, you can start working on those chin-ups! Probably one of the most important exercise Squeezing your shoulder blades during a pull-up is the most important part, it ain’t all arms!

1) Begin by finding an appropriate size box.

2) Grab the bar with an overhand grip.

3) Squeeze shoulder blades together

Set & Reps

Try 3 x 10 after doing your dead hang.

5) Isometrics from the Bottom

This is the beginning of the chin-up. Pulling up as high as you can from the bottom. It’s expected you won’t go very far! be patience you have work for it!

1) Begin by finding an appropriate size box.

2) Grab the bar with an overhand grip.

3) Squeeze shoulder blades together

4) Lift as high as you can & hold!

Set & Reps

Try 3 x 6-10 reps with a 3-sec hold at the top.

Get started with these exercises and you’ll begin to make great progress!

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Check out Week 1 of our Entry Level Program!

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