When it comes to exercises, it is often a mix bag. You look forward to those you like to do and dread over “have to do” exercises. I am no different, some of the most effective exercises are not on my list of favorites, but I do them anyway.
Then, there are exercises that are not on a list at all. I have been around the “iron game” long enough to bet that one of those exercises is likely to be a chin-up. Forgotten, poor chin-up, overshadowed by inferior but fancier lat pulldown.
The details of why chin-ups are superior to pulldowns are beyond the scope of this article. In the nutshell, the difference between chin-ups and pulldowns is quite simple – body moves towards resistance during chins, resistance moves towards the body during lat pulldowns.
There is no question that chin-ups build impressive back. Because of its nature, and the fact that it is a compound, multi-joint movement, you also get carry over benefits to other muscles in your body. Most notably, your arms will benefit greatly – biceps, brachialis, brachioradialis and even pectoralis major (your pecs) all get a very good workout.
It is rare when an exercise can be so unassuming and simple to execute, yet so effective. So is a chin-up bar. It is plain and boring, hated by many, yet so effective for your back development.
There are times when I do not have time to go to a gym. I always appreciate my stash of bare essentials that still enable me to do my workout at home. A chin-up bar is certainly one of those essentials. And if your chin-ups as good as my ballerina technique, there is an extra benefit to having it at home. It is always available, you will be able to spend more time with it, no more excuses like, “well, I would do chins, but…”
So you maybe thinking, ok enough preaching, but what kind should I get? Well, I like the one I have at home. It is very easy to install, 5 minutes tops, and it is really the Rolls-Royce of chin-up bars. I am talking about Everlast Multi Function Chinning Bar.
It is build like a rock, but the best thing about it is a variety of chins you can do with it. There is no such thing as the best grip when doing chins. People with impressive back development use many different grips to recruit as many back muscles as possible. This is where Everlast Multi Function Chinning Bar shines.
You can do pronated grip chins (palms down), semi-supinated (palms facing each other) and supinated (palms facing you) grips chins. This bar is also strong enough to handle my favorite – weighted chins (when you attach an extra weight to your body).
Everlast also makes a scale down version of the same bar. They predictably call it just a Chin Up Bar. It does not have as many uses as multi functional one and it is not padded, but it gets the job done. I have both versions and use them on a regular basis.
In closing, I would like to offer you this inspirational video. This guy is pretty amazing. He does eight, one-arm chin-ups on each hand.
Where are you with your chin-ups? Feel free to share your thought on this. I always love to hear from you.