Back Training – Pull-ups and Chin-ups

Pull-ups and chin-ups are effective compound exercises used to exercise your lat muscles (Latissimus Dorsi). Here is a short, concise article describing how to perform pull-ups and chin-ups.

Muscles Exercised

Pull-ups and chin-ups are effective multi-joint compound exercises that primarily work your lats. They should anchor to your lat routine. As with other lat exercises, pull-ups and chin-ups hammer your biceps as well.

Exercise Technique

  • Pull-ups can be performed with a variety of grips, but typically use an overhand grip several inches wider than shoulder-width on a pull-up bar
  • Chin-ups are performed using technique similar to pull-ups with the exception that chin-ups use an underhand grip. Chin-ups are typically performed with a shoulder width grip.
  • Pull your body up until your chin is above the bar
  • Pull yourself up in a controlled manner, avoiding swinging your body for assistance during the lift
  • Emphasize using your lats, focusing on contracting them as you begin the pull
  • Lower your body again in a controlled manner
  • If you cannot perform pull-ups unassisted, many gyms have an assisted pull-up machine. By placing your knees onto the machine’s platform while performing the exercise, you can add weight to assist you during the lift. As you get stronger on the exercise, you should reduce the weight until you can perform pull-ups unassisted.
  • As you get stronger, you can perform your pull-ups using additional weight to make them even more effective. Many gyms have weight belts with attached chains you can use to hang weights from your waist during the exercise

Additional lat exercises you may want to try:

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