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Chin Ups

A Quick Guide to Chin Ups

also known as

  • Underhand pull-up
  • Supine grip pull-up

purpose and benefits

Chin ups are a compound exercise that primarily targets the muscles in your upper body, specifically the back, biceps, and shoulders. The purpose of this exercise is to strengthen and tone these muscle groups, improving your overall upper body strength and stability.

primary muscles used

  • Latissimus dorsi (lats)
  • Biceps brachii
  • Rhomboids

secondary muscles used

  • Posterior deltoids
  • Infraspinatus
  • Teres major
  • Brachialis

How to do chin ups

Step-by-step instructions to perform chin ups:

  1. Stand facing the bar with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Reach up and grab the bar with an underhand grip, hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  3. Hang from the bar with your arms fully extended, tucking your pelvis and engaging your core to stabilize and avoid swinging. 
  4. Pull your body up towards the bar by bending your elbows and squeezing your shoulder blades together.
  5. Continue pulling until your chin is above the bar.
  6. Slowly lower yourself back down to the starting position with control.
  7. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions and sets.

*Chin ups can be challenging, especially for beginners. It requires a certain level of upper body strength and control. However, with practice and proper form, anyone can work their way up to performing chin ups.

loading options

  • Assisted chin up machine (*to reduce load)
  • Resistance band (*to reduced load)
  • Bodyweight
  • Dumbbell between feet
  • Plate between feet or thighs
  • Weighted vest


  • Chin up negatives, wide grip chin ups, close grip chin ups, and assisted chin ups