Do you need a chin up bar?

Should we use a chin up bar?

 

chin up barThis year my friends and I have decided to train for the tough mudder fun day. It is a grueling track that requires not simply physical fitness but also a tremendous amount of mental toughness.

At the start of our training I get asked the question, 'Do I need a chin up bar?'

It was quite funny, out of the 7 people who participate in the course, only 2 of us are able to do pull ups. The rest of the group struggle...by struggle I mean are able to perform a dead hang.

So to make things easier we modified it so that they did chin ups while we did pull ups. The result, much the same.

Fitness equipment have a place in training however, when it comes to learning to do chin ups properly, a chin up bar does little to help. In fact, simply relying on fitness gear is not the recommended way to move forwards.

Do a search on chin up bar on google and you will turn up many different chin up and pull up products. Generally you get plenty of different fitness training protocols too.

The youtube videos though many aren't particularly informative as they lack the subtlety and detailed instruction required to correctly perform this difficult upper body workout.

A chin up bar or pull-up bar may look good in the doorway but unless you work up towards being able to do one, it may as well be an ornament than a fitness training tool.

 

Ok, so the basic premise is no, you don't need a chin up bar. What you need is good chin up technique.

Leave the notion of getting a workout bar at the door. Your body weight training alone should be sufficient for the time being. You need to build upper body strength to the point where your body frame is able to handle your entire body weight.

The correct method to do a chin up is listed below.

1. warm up with intuflow or similar vibration drills
2. dead hang on the chin up bar
3. inhale deeply
4. as you slowly exhale start contracting your muscles from top to toe
5. increase the amount of power to your upper body and slowly pull yourself up
6. the aim is for your chin to pass the actual bar
7. at the top of the chin up, inhale and as you exhale slowly lower yourself down to a dead hang again
8. repeat from step 3.

The progression towards being able to do a chin up is to perform push ups on the ground. Proper push up technique will develop your upper body strength and bicep power.

You should aim to be able to do 50 in a row. Proper perfect form push ups that is. None of this middle core sagging business.

Learn to do your push ups on a mat. No need to get the top of the line products. A simple yoga mat for under 10 dollarsr will suffice.

Work with a consistent shoulder width apart. When you start, aim to do 1 perfect push up. Do this 3 times a day. Once you can perform 3 over a 24 hour period then start doing them in chains of 3. 1 push up then a 20 second pause then a second push up with a 10 second pause then a third.

Build the number of push ups based on how many reps it takes for you to fatigue your muscles. This will develop your hand strength and upper body strength.

You can also train your grip by hanging off ledges or a chin up bar if you have one handy. Otherswise a simple gripping tool will suffice. And if you get really stuck then simply visit a gym and ask for recommendations.

Better yet, you can go into a store and try out the equipment.

You will find that being able to do chin ups will boost your sports performance for any upper body sports. The best thing is the exercise is simple and can be done indoors or outdoors.

All you need is a chin up bar or a simple horizontal ledge.

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