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Back and Bicep Workout

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Workout for Back and Biceps

The chin-up (also known as a chin or pull-up) is a strength training exercise in which one hangs by the arms from a horizontal bar and pulls oneself up vertically until the chin reaches the level of the bar. Chin-ups can be performed with the palms facing towards the body (i.e., with a supinated grip), with the palms facing away from the body (pronated grip), or gripping parallel bars (semi-supinated grip). The term pull-up is traditionally used when the exercise is performed with a pronated grip; however, the terms chin-up and pull-up are often used interchangeably.

Chin-ups can be performed with a kip, where the legs and back impart momentum to aid the exercise, or from a dead hang, where the body is kept still. While the chin-up is primarily a back exercise, targeting the latissimus dorsi (lats) and the teres major, there is considerable involvement of the biceps, especially with the supinated grip. Chin-ups also help strengthen the deltoids. Performing the chin-up correctly can be tricky because of the natural tendency to do most of the work with the biceps rather than the lats. Initiating the pull with the shoulder blades helps avoid this problem.

Advanced variations include:

Weighted chin-ups - weight is added with a dipping belt or weight belt.

Towel chin-ups - a towel is looped over the bar; one hand grips the bar and the other hand grips the ends of the towel.

One handed chip-ups - one hand grips the bar and the other hand holds the wrist or forearm of the gripping arm.

One arm chin-ups - one hand grips the bar; the other hand hangs free and does not assist with the pull.

Beginners who are not strong enough to perform a chin-up may make use of an assisted chin-up machine, where one stands on a bar with a counterweight to reduce the weight that one pulls up. Another useful exercise for beginners is the negative chin-up, where one is assisted to the top position and executes a slow, controlled descent.

An alternative to the chin-up is the lat pull down machine, where the user pulls down a hanging bar attached to a stack of weights from a sitting position. With this machine, it is far easier to increase the resistance above bodyweight than with the chin-up.

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This publication is presented for information purposes, to increase the public knowledge of health and fitness.

The information presented is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice.

Any of this advice should not be adopted without a consultation with your health professional.

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