Chin Up Video Guide

Exercise Profile

  • Strength
  • Bodyweight
  • Compound
  • Pull
  • Beginner
  • Biceps, Forearms, Middle Back
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Lats Exercises Diagram Target Muscle Group

Exercise Instructions

  1. Chin ups are a great exercise to hit the back and biceps. The underhand grip means the biceps are involved much more than in during a pull up. Grip a chin up bar using an underhand grip with your hands about 6-10 inches apart.
  2. Lower your body down so that you're hanging from the bar. This is the starting position.
  3. Slowly pull yourself up until your chin is above the bar, and then lower right back down to the starting position.
  4. Repeat for desired reps.

​Chin Up Tips:

  1. To get the most out of the chin up, do it slowly and use a full range of motion.
  2. Control the movement. Don't let yourself drop too fast or swing your body to help yourself to get all the way up.
  3. This exercise can be made easier by using a chair or a spotter for assistance.

25 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Tue, 05/06/2014 - 19:48

hi i am josian:
i have a question for you:
is there an exercise that i can do with dumbbells
that can work the same muscle groups that chin up do?
thank you!
your friend,

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Posted Fri, 12/04/2015 - 06:45

Of course. Try Dumbbell Rows with both overhand grip and underhand grips.
That will hit both your biceps and lats.

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Posted Sun, 01/29/2017 - 18:38

Cable face pulls if you are looking for size gotta do some body weight exercises

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Posted Mon, 11/18/2013 - 17:19
Ahmer Rashid

How do we breath in and breath out while doing chin ups ?

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Posted Wed, 03/18/2015 - 17:25

Keeping breathing in or you'll die. Good luck.

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Posted Sat, 08/20/2016 - 11:21

take in large inhale, begin exhale as soon as you start to pull up. at peak of pullup start inhale continue inhale to full downward entension, once at full extension. start pull up will simontanesly starting exhale again

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Posted Mon, 09/30/2013 - 06:45
John P

Hi I wanted to do chin ups but I don find chin bar so what is the best alternate exercise pls tell me th best
Bcos I wanted to strengthen my latts and mobilize my scapula so please
Help me thanks.

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Posted Tue, 06/03/2014 - 11:58
Robert F

Hi John, you can do close and wide grip cable pull downs. Another trick is to sit reversed on your smith machine and grab the bar just like you would do chin ups and pull down. Similar results.

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Posted Sat, 12/19/2015 - 03:52
fazal kl

thank u

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Posted Sun, 04/14/2013 - 10:58

I cant even do one chin up... how do I improve my strength to do it?

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Posted Sat, 06/08/2013 - 07:00

Your arms must be strong to do this.Concentrate on your arms exercise

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Posted Fri, 12/04/2015 - 06:52

Everyone's like that in the start. You just have to do it slowly and steadily.
First do negative chin-ups. Try to reach 5 sets of 5 reps or until you start to do proper chin-ups.

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Posted Sat, 11/17/2012 - 05:02
abhishek verma

i just want to ask that i want bigger biceps.not too much.but it should be of considerable size.i have been doing gyming since last 8 months.but with unwanted can u please tell me what should i do for this?

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Posted Mon, 10/15/2012 - 13:05

i was wondering if it mattered which way to position your hands. im just begginning this workout and i want to make sure i do it right.

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Posted Wed, 09/26/2012 - 18:38

I personally love doing chin-ups, but I want to avoid the 'pencil-look'… should I hence lessen trap exercises in my workout?

Steven's picture
Posted Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:43

Deadlifts, heavy shrugs, cleans, rows, overhead pressing...these can all help.

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Posted Mon, 09/24/2012 - 21:26
Kyle Wright

could you do lat-pull downs instead of bodyweight chin ups?

Steven's picture
Posted Wed, 09/26/2012 - 15:52

Yes, or foot supported rack chins.

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Posted Wed, 04/18/2012 - 20:49

If your having trouble with chin ups you can use a chair to help.

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Posted Sat, 05/26/2012 - 13:57

I had to do research to find out how a chair is suppose to help. From what I understand it's called a negative chin-up. You basically stand on a chair that gets your chin as close to the bar as you can get and then contract the muscle groups then lower yourself down to the floor. If I am understanding this in three reps of six and keep adding a rep to one set as you continue. On the second week you are to see if you have formed enough muscle to do one "real" chin up. Is this what is meant by using a chair to help with chin ups?

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Posted Wed, 04/18/2012 - 13:13


I've been doing this program for 8 weeks now. I'm a hard gainer, thin, with lots of lean muscle and very little fat. I'm using this program to bulk up. It is working and I've shown a 10-12 lb gain in 8 weeks. To answer your question, being someone that is actually almost done with the program, I'll say that you should do as many as you can with GREAT FORM, and then stop when you can't do anymore. Wait about 30 seconds, and then do that quantity again until you get through an entire set of 8. Wait the 1 to 2.5 minutes between sets, and then do it all over again. Eventually, you will get through it with ease as the weeks go on. Good luck!

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Posted Sun, 04/15/2012 - 16:29

This is the ONE exercise that scares me and takes me back to days of being laughed @ in gym class! Program says to start with two sets of eight. What if you can only do 2 or 3 reps to start? Substitute something else? Or push through it? REALLY curious on options!

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Posted Fri, 10/17/2014 - 17:46

Try using a spotter or a chin assist , then slowly start progression over time try reducing the weight like every week as soon as you feel that you can start doing more reps , this provides you less assistance with chin ups as you progress

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Posted Mon, 03/12/2012 - 23:58

What's the minimum number of chin ups we should be able to do before incorporating this into a routine? If I can do 2/3 it seems pointless until I can do more, and I should concentrate on getting to be able to do at least 5-10 or so... right? What other exercises will help me get to be able to do a decent number of chin ups?

Steven's picture
Posted Tue, 03/13/2012 - 12:50

Hi Gav,

It's not so much the minimum. You could use this in a routine if you could only do one chin up. The real focus should be on improvement, or trying to get more. Over time that will help you reach your goals.

Here is an article that can help you improve: