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


Lats Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Gironda Sternum Chin Up Overview

The Gironda sternum chin up is a unique chin up variation named after Vince Gironda and used to target the entire back as opposed to just the lats.

By leaning back while performing the Gironda sternum chin up, you get a greater contraction on all of the back muscles of the upper back.

Gironda Sternum Chin Up Instructions

  1. Using a supinated grip, grasp the pull bar with a shoulder width grip.
  2. Take a deep breath, brace your abs and extend your upper back. Imagine you’re trying to point your sternum at the bar. Depress the shoulder blades and then drive the elbows straight down to the floor while activating the lats.
  3. Pull your sternum towards the bar until the lats are fully contracted, then slowly lower yourself back to the start position.
  4. Repeat for the assigned number of repetitions.

Gironda Sternum Chin Up 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 chin up 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 chin up, start with slow negatives or flexed arm hangs at the top position.
  10. Ditch the straps and kips, neither one is necessary or recommended.