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How to Do a Chin-Up

Incorporating chin-ups into your workout routine is a surefire way to build your biceps and back muscles and strengthen your entire upper body.


  • Step 1: Use a step If you can't reach the bar by jumping, use a step or block.
  • TIP: If possible, use a bar that's high enough so that your feet don't touch the ground when you hang.
  • Step 2: Grasp the bar properly Grasp the bar underhanded -- palms facing you -- with your hands shoulder-width apart.
  • Step 3: Hang by your arms Hang freely with your arms fully extended, kick the step away, and cross your legs at the ankles, and bend them so they don't touch the ground, if necessary.
  • Step 4: Pull up Relax your hips and legs, and then -- using your back, shoulders, and arms -- pull yourself up until your chin rises above the bar.
  • TIP: To make things easier, have a spotter hold your feet while you do your chin-ups.
  • Step 5: Lower down and repeat Slowly lower yourself back down until your arms are straight and keep pulling yourself up until you can't rise above the bar.
  • Step 6: Determine your set Determine how many repetitions in a set by dividing the number of chin-ups you can do correctly in half. Do three sets of that number with 60 seconds of rest in between each.
  • Step 7: Incorporate into your routine Do this workout twice a week, on nonconsecutive days. Reduce your rest period by 15 seconds each week. Start the process over when your rest period is zero and add another set to your workout.
  • FACT: Did you know? Chin-ups can help runners increase their speed by strengthening the back and arm muscles they need to propel them through sprints and hill-climbing.

You Will Need

  • A block or chair
  • A spotter

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