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Why you’re doing chin-ups wrong

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Perfecting your chin-up form will result in improved muscular size and strength, as well as better flexibility, mobility and control, says Tom Crudgington

Tom Crudgington is a S&C coach and founder of specialist personal training gym Body Development. He is based in Bath, Somerset.

Chin-up are one of the moves I see performed incorrectly more than almost any other gym-based exercise. They are never performed well. I so often see half-range reps because people don’t have the strength to do the full reps properly. But you won’t get stronger unless you challenge yourself and learn to move through the full range of every rep.

Here’s how I like chin-ups to be performed for the biggest improvements in muscle size and strength.

Take a semi-supinated grip, with arms fully extended and push away from bar. This lengthens the lats so more muscle fibres can be engaged. Also engage your glutes to fire up the central nervous system to again improve muscle-fibre recruitment. This is your start position.

Begin the movement by lifting your chest then pull-up in a single, fluid motion. Keep your elbows flush to the side of the body, maintain tight glutes and don’t flex your hips forward.

It’s also important to fully clear the bar, not just with you chin, but getting your whole head over the bar. This requires greater control, greater flexibility and greater strength to achieve.

As you return to the bottom push your body away from the bar again to fully lengthen your body and get a good stretch. This is the only way to ensure that each rep moves through the fullest range of motion, which is essential to getting the muscular size and strength benefits you want.

For more tips and advice tap here or go to bodydevelopment.co.uk

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