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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Perception of the Chin-up - By Alfred Page

Originally posted on NaturalStrength.com on April 2, 2005

Many trainees will always choose the Pulldown over the chin as an upper body pulling movement. This is often because they can either handle greater poundages or they just find it easier to perform as their bodyweight may exceed current strength levels. The chin, perfofmed correctly and intensively, is an extremely productive upperbody exercise and like its counterpart- the Parallel Bar Dip- a true measure of strength. It wil develope strength and size across the whole of the back musculature, as well as the arms and grip.

I would like to offer an alternative view on how you percieve and perform the chin. A friend recently imitated a paratrooper whom we live with, using so much weight on his pulldowns, that he would pull the whole gym over with each rep, causing all the other trainees to stagger around and fall over. I imagined myself in a similar position performing chins and using the bar to pull the whole gym ceiling down towards me. I actually tried this stategy the following workout and was amazed as I added 2 extra reps to my previous best total. In the start position of each rep, arms hanging and knees bent, I focused and concentrated on the bar and imagined I was performing a pulldown instead of a chin. So, rather than pulling your body 'up' to the bar, remain hanging and pull the bar 'down' to you. I found this method effective and think it may act as a sort of reverse psychology, therefore allowing you to work harder at the exercise which will stimulate better results.

Additional Point

Please remember that as a base- your bodyweight provides the resistance when perfofming both chins and dips. As you slowly gain muscular bodyweight then this also constitutes additional poundage/resistance increases to the exercise. Do not become disheartened if you struggle to add reps or resistance (ie strapping weight to the body via a belt and chain) as you become heavier because in the case of a 'bodyweight' exercise an extra poumd on the scales is the same as adding an extra pound on the bar. The more you weigh, the more you are lifting- even if you are doing the same number of repetitions.

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