Chin ups are a variation of pull up that recruits the biceps for ‘assistance’. Technically this can also be considered a back exercise.
Generally speaking, a chin up is easier than a pull up. So if you are struggling with pull ups, give these a try.
How to perform chin ups
Depending on your current level of strength, you can do these either assisted or unassisted. An assisted chin up can be done using a bar and a band. Unassisted is all you.
To perform a chin up, simply grip the bar with an underhand grip, with your hands inside of shoulder width apart.
Slowly pull your body up into the bar until your chest touches. Release back down to start position and go for reps.
If you are struggling to master your chin ups, try performing a reverse chin up. To do this; simply jump yourself up so that your chest is on the bar, and then lower yourself all the way down slowly. Jump back up to the bar, and lower yourself down again. Do this for reps. In time you will build enough strength to perform standard chin ups.
Chin ups: Common mistakes to avoid
Chin ups are an advanced exercise, so please ensure that you have some level of physical strength before attempting these.
If you are performing your chin ups with incorrect form, you may unintentionally recruit other muscle groups during the exercise. In addition to this, you will poorly engage the intended muscle groups.
Furthermore; you should always keep the muscle you intend to work in mind while you are performing the exercise. Besides keeping you in check, this is the ideal way to ensure targeted results.
Reps and sets
As with all exercises, your chin ups need to be worked into your overall bigger picture. Therefore; how many reps and sets you perform with each exercise depends entirely on where you are physically and most importantly; your desired outcomes.
Beginners should keep it simple; 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps is an ideal starting point. For the purpose of laying a solid foundation to build upon; don’t over complicate things. The most important thing is to get started, the rest will come with experience.
On the other hand, more advanced lifters should consider their current strength and goals first. From there; you can choose the appropriate rep/set range to work with.
Beyond chin ups...
More arm exercises coming soon...
Just so you know, this list of arm exercises is a work in progress and is by no means extensive. We will continue to grow this entire database for you over time, so be sure to check back for updates. Alternatively, you can join our mailing list below and you’ll be the first to know about all new content we produce.