Unleashing The Chip Up Exercise!


The chin up exercise is often overlooked as a good bicep muscle building exercise. Bodybuilders tend to focus on doing arm curls. Well, in this article we're going to get back to basics and look at one of the oldest bicep building exercises - the chin up exercise.

Chin up exercises have been around for centuries. Knights in medieval time used to do chin up exercises to improve their sword handling strength. I'm sure you don't need to handle any swords anytime soon, so we're going to look at the chin up exercise as solid bicep muscle building and bicep strength developing exercise.

First we need to define the difference between a chin up exercise and a pull up. A chin up exercise is performed with your palms facing towards you, and a pull up is with your palms facing away from you. A pull up is much harder exercise than the chin up exercise, and involves more of your back muscle and less of your bicep muscles.


Chin Up

So what makes a chin up exercise so good for building biceps?

First, you working with your bodyweight. You might have big, strong bicep muscles but how's your strength to weight ratio? Do a full set of 12 chin up exercises and you'll see! When you do a chin up exercise you are moving a big weight, yourself! And we know that heaver weight = more strength = more muscle. You can handle a fews sets of 12 chin up exercises? OK, the beauty of the chin up is you can easily add extra weight (via weight belt and attached weight)! If you can work your way up to completing 3 sets of 12 reps at 130% of your bodyweight you will see how the chin up exercise can really build your bicep muscles.

Second, we need to look at the chin up exercises full range of motion. It's difficult to "cheat" on a chin up exercise! If you do chin up exercises correctly (going all the way down!) you will be hitting your bicep muscles with a long, fluid range of motion. This is essential for building long, strong biceps.

How to perform a chin up exercise properly...

The chin up exercise uses a supinated grip, with your palms facing towards you. Grip the bar at slightly wider than shoulder width. It's important that you start the chin up exercise from a "hanging" position. Your arms must be fully extended at the bottom of each chin up. Now slowly pull yourself straight up until your chin can clear the bar. You chin must clear the bar in each rep! Now slowly lower yourself back down until your arms are fully extended.

Technique tips: A main benefit of the chin up exercise is the range of motion. Always use a full range of motion on every rep. Don't swing your body to get to the top of the movement. Keep you body stiff and straight. You may want to cross your legs and fold them up behind you, it's up to you.

chin up exercise    chin up exercise 2
Correct chin up exercise technique!

Incorporating the chin up exercise into your workout

Because the chin up exercise is a big movement and a very taxing exercise for your biceps, I like to keep it at the beginning of my bicep workout. Every 2nd workout I start with a set of 12 chip up exersises, followed by 3 sets of weighted chin ups (with assistance if needed) and 1 more set of unweighted chins. If you're an advanced lifter I suggest you use a chin up exercise routine similar to this. If you're a beginner, start off with as many unassisted chin ups as you can, and finishing off the set on the assisted chin up machine. Keep doing this until you can manage 3 clean sets unassited chin ups. Then start adding the weight on.

So, in conclusion, try adding the chin up exercise to your bicep workout routine. You can pack on some serious bicep muscle mass and strength with chin ups! Stay safe, and work hard!

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