THE STATIC & SPEED CHIN UPS...

This month we mainly triain Chin-Up strength with static holds. It will force you to deal with more weight than you could handle for traditional reps and boost your strength rather nicely. Plus, for the more advaced of you, we want to see your POWER!

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HOW TO STATIC CHIN-UP:

BASIC STATIC HOLD MECHANICS ON PBARS

GRIP THE BARS – preferably with your thumbs wrapped around the bar. Either use a neutral or underhand grip.

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 forearms and 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 – of the grounded foot. 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 take on a harder progression.

STATIC HOLD ON CHIN-UP BAR

BASIC MECHANICS ARE THE SAME AS ANY CHIN UP -- Elbows must be down, chest must be up, and chin needs to be well clear of the bar.

BUT, JUMP INTO POSITION -- jump up to the top position then lock in and hold. Keep your body straight if you have room, with your abs gently contracting.

WEIGHTED STATIC HOLD

ALL MECHANICS THE SAME -- But when you're ready for it...

ADD WEIGHT WITH A WEIGHT BELT OR VEST -- Get some serious ambition going. Pick your target time and then keep going until you find a weight that provides a fair test.

SINGLE-ARM STATIC HOLD

GRIP WITH ONE-ARM OVERHAND, ONE-ARM UNDERHAND -- and make the underhand grip the arm you are about to work.

JUMP UP AS USUAL -- and set a good top position.

SLIDE ACROSS UNTIL WORKING ARM UNDER IS YOUR CHIN -- and transfer all your weight into your working arm.

RELAX ASSISTING ARM AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE -- until you're ready to take it off the bar!

HOLD FOR TIME -- don't get carried away with your ambition now, hold for the set duration, dismount in style and then work the other arm.

HOW TO SPEED CHIN-UP:

If you're well practiced on Chin Ups, and you can do at least a few reps, this month, after your static Chin Ups, I like you to work on your speed & power. If you can't do a few good chins, then don't worry about these yet, just put all your effort into the statics.

DO YOUR STATIC SET FIRST -- show us your strength and get your nervous system ramped up.

WAIT 20 SECONDS -- chuck your weight belt or vest off

DO 3-5 SPEED CHIN UPS -- where you lower yourself slowly, exagerate the stretch at the bottom and then pull up as fast and as high as you can.

THE MECHANICS ARE THE SAME -- as on your normal Chin Ups.

UNLESS YOUR SUPER POWERFUL -- in which case you'll have to lean back a little more than normal, so you can fly high above the bar.

BE CAREFUL ON THE WAY DOWN -- Use your strength to 'catch yourself' and lower down slowly.

SET UP SEPARAELY EACH TIME -- If you got it all under control, go staright into your next rep, but if you're not, take you time and do a few seperate reps. Form has to be perfect at all times on these. 

STAY FRESH -- We want 3-5 reps of these with perfect form and immense power. Don't try to build your reps up, just try to deliver more power.

WHICH PROGRESSION?

For the static holds, first define the time you want to hold the move for, then pick the difficulty level that matches. Let your logistics dictate whether you use a real Chin Up bar or parrallel bars. Progressions easiest to hardest:

--> FEET ASSISTED STATIC

--> ONE FOOT UP

--> BOTH FEET UP

--> WEIGHTED

--> SINGLE-ARM  PROGRESSIONS

BAD THINGS THAT BAD PEOPLE DO...

ON THE STATIC HOLDS

THEY DON'T SET UP PROPERLY -- and never quite recover the perfect top position.

THEY DON'T TAKE THEM SERIOUSLY -- each set should be TOUGH. A big deal.

THEY WASTE STRENGTH PULLING UP -- it's better to cheat your way up and use your energy where it's really needed.

THEY LET THEIR 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 you 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.

THEY STAY TOO LOW – the point of these is to develop the perfect top position. So if you don’t have your shoulders or even chest touching the bar, you’re missing the key bit. Pull yourself higher. If you can’t due to fatigue/strength, drop down a progression.

THEY 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!

THEY HOLD THEIR BREATH – the fix: breath! Short shallow breaths that don’t disturb your mid-section. Breath ‘behind the shield’ as they say.

THEY GET TOO LAID BACK – don’t confuse these with body-rows. Often, when doing these on the Pbars, folks confuse the two. They are not the same. Bring your heals in close before you start and don’t let your bum slide forward.

ON SPEED CHINS

THEY GOT NO SPEED -- reduce the difficulty if you can't go visibly faster than your normal Chin Ups. I suggest a little assistance from your feet.

THEY RUSH -- every rep has to be perfect. Take your time until it's time to explode.

THEY SMASH THEIR HEAD ON THE CEILING -- yes that's a thing. Make sure you have room above the bar!

THEY FATIGUE -- do them fresh and don't go for toomany reps. Tiredness does not equal success.

WICKED CUES!

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, you'll build more strength and you'll 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.

PIN THE ARM, CRAMP THE BICEP -- this is how you nail the one-arm progression. You really have to squeeze your elbow into your side as hard as you can.

WHY DO IT TO YOURSELF?!

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. Chins demand a fairly high strength-to-body-weight ratio. But they are a powerful weapon in the health and body shaping realm. If you’re not strong enough though, 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 CHIN-UP TOP-POSITION : 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 – if you are using the Pbars. 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. They were a big part of my training when I first hit 20 perfect Chin-Ups.

STRONGER LATS -- these will help you get in touch with your Lats, the key to developing a better V shape.

STRONGER ARMS – these are wonderfully Biceppy.

STRONGER ABS -- these force you to contract your abs hard and develop serious mid-section strength.

ALTERNATIVES...

If you can't do these, but want a replacement, in order of preference I suggest:

--> EXTRA FOCUS ON BODY-ROWS

--> EXTRA FOCUS ON HANGING

--> LAT PULL-DOWN OR BICEP CURLS

Or simply forget it for now, but resolve to get better equipment once you've proven you can be consistent.

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