EXERCISE BREAKDOWN: STATIC CHIN UP HOLDS
HOW TO DO IT
You can do these on a normal Chin-Up bar, or on a low bar like a park rail or on Parallel Bars (as shown here where I’m using the rather seriusly named ‘Lebert Equaliser’) or anything similar…
GRIP — with any grip — whichever style you are currently striving to improve, and if in doubt, and you have the option, vary it from whatever you did last month.
CHEAT YOUR WAY TO THE TOP — This is all about getting a perfect top position and learning to be strong in that position, so make sure you can get to that top position easily — whatever your set up. If it’s a high bar, and you find it difficult getting up there, stand on a bench, or ask someone to help lift you. If it’s a low bar, use your feet a lot until you have perfect top position.
DRIVE YOUR CHEST UP — make it as big as possible and try to keep your shoulders back.
FEEL FOR THE TENSION — through your biceps, abs and particularly your armpits.
TAKE OFF / TAKE THE WEIGHT — then take all the weight and lift your feet. If you can’t, simply take as much weight as you can for the length of your hold.
If that’s too easy, or if you’ve been through the programme many times and need to spice it up:
Do PARTIAL REPS — where you lower into a Chin-Up, but stop when your elbows are at 90 degrees (or when your bum taps the floor if you are on Parrallel Bars), then pull back up to the top position for a 1 second hold.
add LOAD — Via a weight belt or vest.
Improve BODY POSITION — by bringing your knees higher, then going into an L-Sit.
WHY OH WHY DO WE DO THESE?
GRIP, ARMS, ABS & BACK — you’re going to develop great tone and strength in all of these areas.
IMPROVE THE TOP PART OF THE CHIN UP — where most people are weak / never get to.
PRACTICE POSTURE — most peoples Chin Ups harm their posture as they go for too much and end up in poor positions at the top. This drill is all about fixing that.
MORE TIME-UNDER-TENSION — This puts loads of muscles under tension for a good preriod of time. That’s the sort of training we need if we want to get shredded!
MAKE CHIN-UPS MORE ACCESSIBLE — Chin Ups are one of the best things you can do to develop a strong healthy body. But, of course, it’s hard to get started with them unless you’re already strong (and light). This is a great way to start for beginners / those not naturally great at Chin Ups.
THEY’LL HELP YOU MASTER THE CHIN UP PROGRESSION LADDER — and Master The Strength Sessions and you’ll have a great body!
It’s rare people need alternatives to these for injury, but it happens. More commonly it’s a logistical thing.
But if you can’t do these, here is what I’d do for this month in the programme in order of preference:
EXTRA FOCUS ON HANGING — always time well spent, and although it works the other end of the Chin Up, it’s still a worthy replacement.
BODY-ROWS — Spend more time working on your Body Rows. Perhaps practice the Body Row with extra static holds a la Month 4.
LAT PULL DOWN OR BICEP WORK — If you’re in the gym, consider working on a Lat Pull Down or some Bicep Curls if it suits you better. It’s quite an inferior choice, but if it works better logistically for you, then go for it in your current cycle, then try to progress to Static Chin Ups next time around.
HOW FOLKS TEND TO MESS IT UP
THEY DON’T SET THE POSITION PROPERLY — If you try to ‘jump into it’, or don’t use enough leg to assist you into getting perfect position at the start of the exercise, you’ll never recover.
THEY ARE FULL OF GREED — If you push beyond your strength level, you’ll lose position. Be ambitious, but be humble.
THEIR SHOULDERS ARE TOO FAR FORWARD — As you work these, you’ll be tempted to let your neck tense up and your shoulders roll up and forward. Your job is to fight that. Don’t let it happen. If you can’t, make it easier!
THEY COUNT TOO FAST — Ten seconds means ten seconds damn you!!
ELBOWS DOWN. CHIN DOWN. CHEST UP — do that and you’ll nail it! Avoid throwing your head back as people instinctively do when the going gets tough.
LATS AND BICEPS! — Focus on feeling them work and you’ll be strong as an ox.
SQUEEEEZE THE GRIP — Do so hard enough and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at just how strong you can be.