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Chin-up Bar Exercises

Bhakti Satalkar
Chin-up bar exercises are done with the aim of extending your shoulders and flexing your elbow. However, they are a little difficult to perform, as the person has to lift his own body weight. We will see the exercises that you can perform with the chin-up bar.
Chin-up bar exercises are said to be the best strength training exercises for the upper body to build muscle mass. If you are a beginner, chances are high that you will be able to do only 1 to 5 chin-ups. To do this exercise, you will require a simple piece of equipment, i.e., the chin-up bar. When you have a bar put up in your house, you will have to place it at a height, which will require you to jump up to grab the bar, while your feet should hang free. Muscles worked by doing this exercise include the upper body, shoulder, and forearms.

Exercises to be Included in Chin-ups Workout

Before you start with the workout, it is a must that you do some warm-up exercises. Along with warming up, you should also do some stretching exercises so that chances of injuries are reduced.
People generally tend to get confused between pull-ups and chin-ups, and many use the terms interchangeably. Let me explain the subtle difference between the two. In a standard chin-up exercise, the palms face the chest while holding the bar, whereas in case of pull-ups, the palms are made to face away from the chest.

Standard Exercise

» This is an exercise for the upper body, shoulders, and forearms.
» Grab the bar with your palms facing your chest.
» Make sure the distance between the two arms is shoulder-width distance.
» Now, keeping your torso straight, try to stick your chest out. This becomes your starting position.
» Breathe out and pull up your body until your chin reaches the bar. Remember to use your bicep muscles more, and do not put strain on your back.
» Lower the body slowly until your arms are straight, and repeat this exercise again.


One Arm Chin-up

This is an exercise for strength training. One hand assists in the exercise (holds the grip), while the other hand is kept away. Lift your feet off the floor and try to do this exercise. This variation will provide more resistance for strength building.

One Hand Chin-up

This is different from the above variant. One hand assists in the exercise, while the other hand holds the forearm of the arm hanging from the bar. Now, perform the exercise. This requires lesser strength as compared to the one-arm exercise.

Sternal Chin-up

In this variant form, the person needs to pull up the body such that the sternum touches the bar. In this case, the elbows are directly below the shoulder.

Wide and Narrow Grip Chin-ups

This is a technique to build strength and endurance. To do this exercise, alternate between sets with arms placed away from one another (wide overhand) and then closer to one another (narrow overhand). Slowly do the exercise till your chin is above the bar, and then come back to the starting position.
Come down from the bar so that your heart rate normalizes. Repeat the exercise again. You can use an assistant to pull up your feet behind your legs, or you can use an elevation to do so.

Weighted Chin-up

The only difference in this variant is that while performing the usual exercise, you can add extra weights. For that, you can use ankle weights or the waist belt weight.

Supine Chin-up

This exercise is done in the supine position (lying down with your face up). Arms are held perpendicular to the bar, and instead of the chin, the chest is pulled up. This exercise is performed in a horizontal plane as compared to the other exercises that we have seen until now.
If you find it difficult to do these exercises, you can also do the assisted bar exercises. You either do the machine-assisted exercises or human-assisted ones. When you are doing these exercises, if you are of the opinion that it is your weight due to which you are not able to do the exercise, then you are mistaken. It is actually because of your endurance. However, with practice, you will be able to do the exercises.