Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredBodyweight
  • MechanicsIsolation
  • Force TypePull (Bilateral)
  • Experience LevelIntermediate
  • Secondary Muscles
    Abs, Biceps, Shoulders, Upper Back
Target Muscle Group


Lats Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Around the Bar Chin Ups Overview

The around the bar chin up is a more advanced variation of the chin up.

The chin up itself is an excellent bicep and lat builder and a highly recommended movement for most lifters. The around the bar chin up takes it up a notch by requiring even more core stabilization to move from one side of the bar to the other.

The around the bar chin up also increases the time under tension for all muscles involved, which can result in greater muscle growth.

Around the Bar Chin Ups Instructions

  1. Using a supinated grip, grasp the bar with a shoulder width grip.
  2. Take a deep breath, squeeze your glutes and brace your abs. Depress the shoulder blades and then drive the elbows straight down to the floor while activating the lats.
  3. Pull your chin towards one side of the bar until the lats are fully contracted, then slowly shift to the other side of the bar without changing the height of your body. Once the shift is complete, lower yourself back to the start position and repeat for the assigned number of repetitions.

Around the Bar Chin Ups Tips

  1. To decrease bicep involvement, use a false (thumbless grip).
  2. Try to keep a neutral head position (looking straight ahead or slightly up) as hyperextending the neck can lead to compensations throughout the spine.
  3. If the bar is high enough, keep the legs straight and in front of the body.
  4. Avoid falling into overextension of the lumbar spine by squeezing your glutes and bracing your abs.
  5. The pullup is completed when the lats are fully flexed, don’t continue pulling and compensate with the pecs.
  6. Keep your shoulders down and back, if they round forward at the top then you’ve pulled too far.
  7. A lifter’s segment length will determine whether or not they can actually get their chin over the bar, it’s not an absolute for everyone.
  8. Lower to almost full extension of the elbow but avoid locking out completely as this can place excessive strain on the ligamentous structures within the elbow and shoulder.
  9. If you can’t complete a single bodyweight pullup, start with slow negatives or flexed arm hangs at the top position.
  10. Ditch the straps and kips, neither one is necessary or recommended.