Biceps Exercises - Chin Ups
Muscles Targeted: Chin ups work every major muscle group
in the back including the rear deltoids, lats, and the biceps in
the arms. They also can work the spinal erectors and abdominals
with some slight variations. Because chin ups are a pulling exercise,
they require a high level or grip strength therefore adding functional
strength and muscle to the hands and forearms.
Exercise Advice: Ideally you'll have a bar or set of handles
at a height that allows you to reach up and touch it with your fingers.
Begin by either grabbing the bar or jumping up to grab it and "set"
your shoulder blades by pulling them down and back so your shoulders
are not up next to your ears. Place your hands at a natural width
you feel comfortable with. If you jump up and grabbed the bar, that's
probably your most natural width. Bend your knees and pick your
feet up behind you if necessary to clear your feet from the ground.
Look up towards the bar and pull yourself up until your upper chest
is at the level of your hands. Pause and slowly lower yourself down
until your arms are strait but your back is still pulling your shoulders
down away from your ears.
Things To Avoid: Avoid the temptation to reach for the bar
with your chin. This can cause your back to round forward and reduce
the involvement of the muscles in the upper back. While not necessarily
bad, movement in the lower body, like kicking or kipping, is discouraged
for strict form chin ups. Also be on the look out for a tendency
to pull to one side. This can happen when one arm is much stronger
than the other.
Reps and Sets: Chin ups lend themselves well to reps between
8-12 and sets of 3-5. Since they are a power and strength move for
many folks they also are great for 5 sets of 5 rep workout routines.
Other Exercises To Use: Combine the chin up with recline
curls and rear
flys to further work the arms or target specific areas of the
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