Chin Ups for Women’s Back Development

Woman doing a chin upChin ups can provide a total back workout. This post will look at how to do a perfect chin up to maximize your total back development.

How To Do a Chin Up

The chin up is easy in term of technique and hard in terms of strength. It exhausts you very quickly. I read recently that the average number of chin ups the average woman can do is zero! So, imagine all the gains you will get when you start using those muscles.

To do a chin up follow these steps:

  1. Place your hands about shoulder width apart on a bar with your palms facing towards you;
  2. Using your back muscles pull yourself up until your chest touches the bar;
  3. Lower yourself slowly making sure your back muscles are doing the work.

It is that easy! However, you can vary the way you do the chin up so as to emphasize different muscle groups. In this way you can get a total back workout using only chin ups.

Muscles the Chin Up Targets

The muscles that are most used during a chin up are the:

  • lats
  • rhomboids
  • biceps
  • shoulders

The main target for the chin up, however, is the lats muscles as shown below. If your chin u technique is correct these will be the ones that are best worked.

Variations of the Chin Up

If you like the chin up and are finding you can get good results from it then you might want to add some different variations of the chin up into your back routine to target other muscles.

For example, it is generally accepted that if you widen your grip it will target the lats more and have the function of widening them. This is more important for bodybuilders than everyday fitness practitioners but it is nice to know. Likewise, you can alter the area that is worked by shifting your grip from palms facing in to palms facing out.

You might think these changes are only small but I guarantee that you will feel a difference the next day when your muscles are sore!

Tips For Chin Up Success

Try these tips if you are having trouble getting the most out of the chin up:

  • always add weight or reps – don’t do the same for two workouts in a row;
  • try performing the negative motion for at least six seconds on a chin up;
  • change your sets by doing some fast and explosive and other slow and controlled;
  • get someone to help you break your plateau by lifting you on your final few reps.

Does anyone have any other chin up tips or stories?

About Katie

Katie has transformed her body from a flabby 186lbs, to a fit & toned 124 pounds through healthy diet and exercise. Katie joined the Lean Curves team in 2007 and has posted hundreds of articles on fitness, fat loss and healthy eating.


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