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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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,