- Target Muscle Group
- Exercise TypeStrength
- Equipment RequiredBodyweight
- Force TypePull (Bilateral)
- Experience LevelIntermediate
- Secondary Muscles
Abs, Biceps, Shoulders, Upper Back
Single Pause Chin Up Overview
The single pause chin up is a chin up variation that utilizes an intensity technique known as the pause rep.
By pausing mid rep, as seen at the top of the single pause chin up, you create an isometric contraction on the muscle. This requires more strength to complete each repetition as you will come to a complete dead stop during the rep.
Be sure to focus on the contraction during the pause when performing single pause chin ups. The added time under tension created while paused at contraction can help lead to a better pump and greater muscle growth in the long run.
Single Pause Chin Up Instructions
- Using a supinated grip, grasp the bar with a shoulder width grip.
- 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.
- Pull your chin towards the bar until the lats are fully contracted, pause, then slowly lower yourself back to the start position and repeat for the assigned number of repetitions.
Single Pause Chin Up Tips
- To decrease bicep involvement, use a false (thumbless grip).
- Try to keep a neutral head position (looking straight ahead or slightly up) as hyperextending the neck can lead to compensations throughout the spine.
- If the bar is high enough, keep the legs straight and in front of the body.
- Avoid falling into overextension of the lumbar spine by squeezing your glutes and bracing your abs.
- The chin up is completed when the lats are fully flexed, don’t continue pulling and compensate with the pecs.
- Keep your shoulders down and back, if they round forward at the top then you’ve pulled too far.
- 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.
- 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.
- If you can’t complete a single bodyweight chin up, start with slow negatives or flexed arm hangs at the top position.
- Ditch the straps and kips, neither one is necessary or recommended.