There aren’t many more rewarding exercises than banging out bodyweight chin-ups…
But if you don’t progress appropriately to them it will feel a lot like climbing mount Everest!
There tend’s to be 2 camps I find in the land of chin-up challengers:
- Those who just avoid it because it looks scary, hard and they don’t want to look silly in the gym (we’ve all been there)
- Those who try to do the full movement when they are nowhere near strong enough. Which gets them very little benefit (and actually does make them look a bit silly)
Instead, here’s the way to progress from a chin-up chump to pull-up princess
My demonstrator Lola in the video actually has the most incredible story behind her chin-up progression.
She was at one point over 120kg’s before going on a mission to get healthy.
She came to me with a goal of getting that first chin-up.
It took us over 9 months of consistent training with our groups at The Body Shapers, but she got there.
Humble brag: Her best is 10 straight.
You can watch more of her story here > https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cEEFszl8cE0
For those who prefer to read, here are all the steps to the chin-up laid out (the video helps a lot though):
- Lowering down only with bands
Use a strong resistance band and either jump or get assistance then lower yourself down under control.
3 sets of 5-10 is plenty and look to increase the reps or use a less resistant band.
2. Full rep with bands
Instead of just the lowering portion, now you’ll pull yourself up the entire rep.
Ensure you still lower down under control and don’t bounce up from the bottom.
Again 3 sets 5-10 then use less and less resistance on bands
3. Bodyweight lowering down
Remove the bands and jump up to the top then lower down under control.
Aim for 5-7 seconds on the way down and 3 sets of 3 reps is normally plenty for most people.
Add weight once bodyweight isn’t too challenging (as we showed in the video)
4. Full chin-up with a ‘bounce’
As in the video before you go for a dead hang chin-up practice lowering down from the top and using a bit of a ‘bounce’ to get the rep started.
This makes the often challenging bottom part of the movement easier at first
5. Dead hang chin-up
Voila! Now you can nail out at least a single chin-up.
Do them 1 at a time for a good few weeks as you want to keep your form solid.
Before you know it you’ll be cranking out 2,3 or more in a row.
Hope you learned a bit from that, now go out and get chinning.
If you have any other questions connect with us on Facebook at ‘The Body Shapers’