While chatting to a friend the other day, we got talking about fitness goals and how easy it is to get hooked on a fitness goal with regards to how you look. As great as it is to set yourself goals to tone up, or lose a little weight if that’s what you feel is needed, it’s actually much more beneficial to both your body and mind to focus more on physical goals. This conversation got me thinking about my own goals and where they’re heading.
I’m still working on my strength for handstands and arm balances in yoga, but if there’s one thing that I’ve always wanted to do, it’s to learn how to do a pull up & chin up. Even when I was a muscly little gymnast throwing myself around on all kinds of apparatus, I always struggled with my pull ups and chin ups.
In case you’re wondering what the difference is between the two, it pretty much comes down to your grip…
Pull Up: Forward grip – these will work your lats, middle back & biceps
Chin Up: Reverse grip – these will work your lats, forearms, middle back & biceps
The majority of people find chin ups slightly easier to master, so that’s where I’ll be starting. I fortunately have a bar at home, so I can work on my drills whenever I fancy. We have a Power Bar 2, which you can buy here.
I’ve set myself a little plan for this goal and hopefully if I am strict with all of my exercises I’ll be doing an unassisted chin up very soon! Here’s what I’m doing to train my chin ups…
- This does what it says on the tin. Just hang from the bar for as long as you can, rest and do it again. This will strengthen your grip. Ideally you want to get to a point where you can hang for 30 seconds or more.
BOTTOM RANGE CHIN UP
- Hang from the bar in your reverse grip and pull yourself up 2-3 inches. Hold this for a couple of seconds and slowly lower back down. I complete 10 of these twice a day.
- Jump up to the bar, all the way to the top with your chin at the bar.
- Slowly lower to 90 degrees and hold there for 10 seconds (it’s not easy!)
- Slowly lower down and rest for 20 seconds.
- Repeat this 10 times and do it twice a day. I’ve been doing one set in the morning and one in the evening. At first you might not be able to complete 10 of these, but just work towards it.
FLEXED ARM HANG
- Hold yourself at the very top of the chin up position – either use a box or jump up to the bar.
- Hold there for as long as you possibly can, until you feel your muscles giving up and then slowly lower all the way down to hanging with straight arms, fighting against yourself the whole time.
So there you have it, my little exercise plan to get me doing chin ups. I’ll let you know how I get on. Let me know if you have any other techniques or if similar exercises have worked for you.
Let’s all enjoy achy arms together! 😉 x
WEARING: Lucas Hugh Leggings & Crop