When I added doing a chin-up to my fitness goals in 2018, I had no idea whether or not I would be able to do one. It did take me a while but I got there in the end. So where did I start?
Here’s what helped me:
- I bought some strength bands, they are long, strong, thick elastic bands (usually coloured according to resistance) that you can buy from gym shops or online. Not expensive, I think mine were around $20 Australian. I bought two, one thick (gives more resistance) and one thinner (less resistance).
- My trainer at the gym, used similar bands which allowed me used to using the band. Stretching the band down, I placed 1 foot in the band and grabbed the bar with both hands. Both palms were facing toward me ( facing away is called a pull-up), carefully stepped off the bench. At first my chin-ups were fully supervised to make sure I didn’t injure myself.
- When not at the gym, I found some playground equipment bars that were high enough off the ground so I can just reach the bar and wrapped my band and back through itself.
- Pulling myself up to the bar as far as I could, keeping legs as straight as possible and slowly lowering down, over time this built strength and familiarity with the motion.
- I also did some other exercises at the gym that strengthened my arm muscles ( biceps, triceps and lats) that were important for doing chin-ups.
- Every time I go near a park now I look for a bar that would suit a chin-up. I got a little obsessed about it, and I guess that’s important because over time I will lose strength if I don’t practice.
- If you would like to try to do a chin-up, I strongly recommend a couple of sessions at a gym with qualified trainer to start you out and make sure you don’t get injured. And of course if you already have an injury check with your doctor first before attempting. Safety first!