How To Do A Chin Up

Chin ups are a classic exercise. They’ve long been used by military boot camps and other high performance organizations because of their effectiveness. They really are killer way to strengthen and tone the muscles of the upper torso.

They are often mistaken for pull ups though, and those two terms are sometimes used interchangably, even though they are two completely different exercises.

This article will explain the differences between the two, and tell you exactly how to do a chin up.

The Differences Between Pull Ups And Chin Ups

Don’t make the mistake of thinking pull ups and chin ups are one in the same—they aren’t (read our article on pull ups for more information). While they do work some of the same muscles, there is one huge difference.

A chin up is performed in the same manner as a pull up, but uses an underhand grip.

This seemingly innocent and simple change has a profound effect on the exercise. By using an underhand grip, a chin up puts much more emphasis on the biceps muscle. For this reason, chin ups are a great way for someone using only bodyweight training to get bigger or more toned biceps.

How To Do A Chin Up

To do a chin up, you will set up in a very similar way to a pull up. Grab your bar with a double underhand grip (both palms facing you), and get ready to pull.

Lift your feet off of the ground, and start at a dead hang. Pull yourself up until your chin is over the bar.

Important Note: Whether you are doing pull ups or chin ups, it is important NOT to use your legs to help you. A lot of people pump their legs to get extra momentum. Avoid this mistake.

Pause slightly with your chin over the bar, and then lower yourself back to the starting position under control. Strive for 2-3 seconds pulling yourself up, and 4-6 seconds lowering yourself down.

There you go, you just did a pull up! It can be very beneficial to alternate sets between pull ups and chin ups to add variation and extra challenge to your workout.

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