EXERCISE BREAKDOWN: THE STATIC CHIN-UP ON THE LEBERT EQUALISER
EQUIPMENT NOTE: I use the rather seriously named Lebert Equaliser for this exercise & my description is tailored exactly to that. But, it can be done on a squat rack, a chin up bar or some park railings with a few alterations. You might have to change grip or get a bench or box to stand on, but it’s easily done.
HOW IT IS DONE
GRIP IT – preferably with your thumbs wrapped around the bar.
BRING YOUR HEALS IN – so that your knees are close to your stomach thing.
KEEP YOUR TORSO CLOSE TO VERTICAL – so that you don’t swing around like a pendulum when you go for it.
EXAGERATE GOOD POSTURE – if you don’t start well, the chances of ending well are slim.
PULL UP – use your feet to assist. Bring your shoulders all the way to the bars. Your shouldes should be just below your hands. You should feel your grip, your Lats contracting (in your arm pits) and your Biceps showing definite interest.
THEN, IF YOU CAN, PROGRESS – we are going to carefully, systematically increase the percentage of weight in your hands and reduce the amount of assistance from our legs.
LIFT ONE FOOT – and squeeze your knee in towards your stomach, you should feel your abs start to feel like getting involved.
GO TO JUST THE TIP-TOE – in the foot left down. This will make you take even more work in the arms.
LIFT IT – easy right? More in the tank, yes? Great: one grip the bar really really tight, take all the weight in your arms and lift that other foot too. Squeeze both knees tight into your stomach. Build up until you can do this for 10 seconds then please with me to give you another progression. There are plenty more but my fingers are tired so that’s all you get for now.
WHERE IT GOES WRONG AND HOW TO FIX IT
YOUR SHOULDERS ROUND – I mean they round forward. I’m not saying your shoulders shouldn’t be round. That’s silly. The fix: take time before Goh start to get better posture, then use your heals to assist as you lift. Then exaggerate the perfect position before you add difficulty by lifting your feet. The problem usually stems from over-cooking the ambition or from lack of awareness. Just make sure your focuses on holding big chest and shoulders back.
YOU’RE TOO LOW – the point of these is to develop the perfect top position. So if you don’t have your shoulders touching the bar, you’re missing the key bit. Pull yourself higher. If you can’t due to fatigue/strength, drop down a progression.
YOU FIDGIT – it happens. Particularly the first few times. Often if you’re pushing yourself too hard (yes, that’s a thing). The fix: stay still.
YOU HOLD YOUR BREATH – the fix: breath. Short shallow breaths that don’t disturb your mid-section. Breath ‘behind the shield’ as they say.
YOU GET TOO LAID BACK – don’t confuse these with body-rows. They are not the same. Bring your heals in close before you start and don’t let your bum slide forward.
ELBOWS DOWN. CHIN DOWN. CHEST UP – chin up and chest up are not the same thing. Chin Ups aren’t really about lifting your chin up, they are about pulling you’re arms down. These little thoughts will help you hold posture and contract the right shit.
GRIP TIGHTER – the tighter you grip, the stronger you will be able to contract your forearms, your biceps and your Lats too. Grip tighter then, and you’ll do better, build more strength and get a better body.
SQUEEZE THE ARM PITS – your Lats are huge muscles that go from your arms right down to the bottom of your back (and connect into the thoracolumbar fascia along with your abs), driving your arms down (crudely speaking) is one of their few primary functions. The cue of actively squeezing your elbows down into your sides will help you contract your abs hard (which is needed to do this well) and to encourage you to relax your neck (which is needed to do this well). Try it, feel your Lats get rock hard and keep them there for the duration.
WHY DO THIS?
Easier Access Chin Ups – let’s face it: chin ups are hard. Most guys can’t do them. Not well. Most ladies can’t do them at all . They demand a fairly high strength to body-weight ratio. But they are a powerful weapon in the health and body shaping realm. But if you’re not strong enough, you need to start somewhere. That’s where these babies come in. If you can’t do Chin-Ups, these will help you start. If you can do them but not well, not nearly at the top with pretty form, these will help you tidy up the top section…
Better Top-Position on your Chin Ups: even if they can do chin-ups, rarely do people do them really well, and too often do they slip into ugly form at the top: the chin sticks out (reaches to fake the height’, the chest doesn’t get high enough, the shoulders round forward and they get out of there far too fast. If that’s you, a solid bout of these static top-position holds will acquaint you much better with the top of the move, and you’ll have more neater,stronger, better looking, safer chin-ups when you return to the real thing.
Fun – yea, people like these. Some people.
YOU GET A NICE SIT DOWN BEFORE AND AFTER – and between sets of 10. So that’s nice.
Blast Chin Up Plateaus – stuck on a certain number of chin-ups? Incorporating statics can be just the tonic you need to strengthen a particular part of the move or to increase time-under-tension to ensure you get to the next level.
Lats – these will help you get in touch with your Lats, the key to developing a better V shape.
Arms – these are wonderfully Biceppy.
Abs – these force you to contract your abs hard and develop serious mid-section strength.