The climber pull-up (climber's chin up)


Exercise Benefits:

  • This exercise can be done at home or in the gym.
  • This advanced variation on a classic exercise activates virtually every muscle in the upper body, and is very effective in building up upper body strength, and in particular strength in the upper and middle back muscles.
  • This is especially useful for those who participate in rock climbing or mountaineering.

How to Do the Exercise:

  1. Grasp the pull up bar in an overhand grip (i.e. with your palms facing forward) with your hands wider than shoulder-width apart.
  2. Tighten your abdominal muscles, lift your body upward, and toward one side. Concentrate on driving your elbows down, and slightly back, rather than “pulling” your body up. Most of the strength should be coming from your back muscles, rather than from your arms. You’ll feel the shoulder blade on the side that you’re pulling toward sliding down and inward slightly more than the other side as you perform the exercise.
  3. Make sure that your body stays in alignment, and that you do not cheat by swinging your legs and body, or “kipping” at the waist. If possible, bring your chin up above the bar.
  4. Slowly lower your body back to the start position and perform the chin up on the other side. Repeat for the required number of repetitions, alternating sides.
  5. Make sure your back doesn’t round or arch too much during the exercise.


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