The Power of One Chin-Up pt.2

In the last installment, we touched on the importance of the chin-up and the beginnings of how you can get to your first one. In this article, we’ll continue the conversation with some things you can work on towards that goal. The main thing you can do on a constant basis is eating clean. Carrying around a 50 lb backpack while trying to do a chin-up is no fun (unless you are into that kind of insanity). Having larger portions of vegetables (spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts) to starch (sweet potatoes, yams, quinoa, amaranth) as well as clean sources of protein (whole eggs, LEAN meats, poultry, game, and fatty fish) will help to decrease extra weight that you may be carrying on your person.

In addition, exercises that work the same pulling muscles provide the essential foundation for getting your first chin-up. Rows of any type whether they with Dumbbells, Cable Machines, TRX or a Barbell have obvious carryover to the pulling motion of a chin-up. With rows, the more you start to adjust the exercise to make it more difficult, the closer you will start to be towards your goal.  For example, if you are on the cable machine rows, start to move from a standing position to kneeling to eventually a sitting position. When you eventually are in a seated position, be sure to place the cables at a higher point and pull the handles or bar down to your chest. To complement that adjustment, be sure to keep your core tight and exhale as you pull. With suspension toys like the TRX or jungle gym. the closer your feet are to the anchor point, usually the wall or column, the harder rows become. If you want to really try an advanced exercise, you could try putting your feet on the wall itself. Now that takes total body tension that wakes everything up. Another exercise that will have a lot of benefit to your chin-ups will actually be the deadlift. Although most may think it a leg exercise, the deadlift works so many muscles throughout your body including your back, arms, forearms and grip that you should start noticing an improvement in your grip immediately. As with any exercise, be sure that your form and understanding of the technique is established so that you don’t end up hurting yourself.

In the next article, we will take a look at more advanced exercises that will get a little closer to having you fly over the bar to get that first chin-up.  If you are interested in learning more, please call (646) 684-4912 or e-mail bodyspacefitness@gmail.com to discuss using the Inbody scale (to assess you body composition) or scheduling a strategy session (to discuss health history and goals, as well as review body composition and movement patterns). If you wanted to start working towards that first chin-up right away, call and see which one of our classes may be the best fit for you.

Until next time Familia,

Coach Tony

The Power of One Chin-Up

Ever since I was a kid, all I could dream about was flying through the air like one of my favorite superheros. While reality has changed the path, the dream still stands. These days though, I am looking at a different way to reach the skies – the infamous chin-up bar. Having the ability to vertically pull your body up is a liberating sensation. The benefit that comes to your body is immense. In a chin-up, the muscles in your forearms, biceps, and back are worked in one of the most functional exercises that could potentially be life saving should you need to literally pull yourself up over a ledge. The real magic though, comes from the emotional and psychological benefit that completing a chin-up can have. Knowing that you have the relative strength (the amount of strength you have given your body type or size), balanced body composition (muscle-fat-weight ratio), and training (exercises done to prep you for the chin-up) to get you over that bar will do wonders for self-esteem, confidence, and goal setting.

Getting to your first chin-up is not something that comes easy nor fast. There are a few factors that need to be in place first to ensure that you will get that first chin-up. The first ones that provides the foundation is a balanced body composition and pulling strength in back and arms. Having extra weight with regard to fat never helps in life, let alone athletic endeavors. The cleaner the eating habits, better controlled the portions, and better timing of meals will all point you in the right direction of losing fat and increasing muscle. In addition, there are some exercises that you should become comfortable with to assist you on your journey to being able to do a chin-up. Exercises that directly stimulate the back, biceps, forearms, and grip are necessary. This includes rows of all types (bent over, cable machine, suspension, inverted), lat pulldowns, deadlifts, etc.

In the next article, we will take a look at what you can do both at home and in the gym to get you closer to that first chin-up. If you are interested in learning more, please call (646) 684-4912 or e-mail bodyspacefitness@gmail.com to discuss using the Inbody scale (to assess you body composition) or scheduling a strategy session (to discuss health history and goals, as well as review body composition and movement patterns). If you wanted to start working towards that first chin-up right away, call and see which one of our classes may be the best fit for you.

Until next time Familia,

Coach Tony