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Personal Trainers guide to improving Chin ups

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Personal Trainers guide to improving Chin ups

Personal Trainers guide to improving Chin ups




Designing the ideal workout program can be enormously challenging for the novice personal trainer, but keeping the following in mind will ensure great results:


A chain will only be as strong as its weakest link - strengthen that weak link and the chain becomes far stronger.


For many people, especially women the weakest link in their chin-up training can be found in the bottom quarter of the range. This is when the chin-up is started from the extended elbow position and the limiting factor is the strength of the elbow flexors.

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The Weak Points


The four main elbow flexors are the biceps brachii, brachioradialis, brachialis, and pronator teres. The two elbow flexors that may require attention are the pronator teres and the brachioradialis, as these are often the weakest of the four. This is something personal trainers neglect in their programs for clients


How do you know whether your pronator teres and brachioradialis areas need work? The easiest way to find out is by gauging the ideal ratio between a supinated chin-up (shoulder-width grip) and the reverse EeZee bar (with a shoulder-width grip). The ideal ratio is 1:0.37. So, if you want to perform a chin-up and you have a 60kg body weight, you are going to have to be able to perform a reverse curl with an EeZee Bar loaded with 22 kg - using a grip at shoulder-width. If you are struggling to perform curls at this level then the problem may very well lie with your flexor strength at the elbow. Note that the same ratio is relevant if you are able to do more reps on chin-ups - or if you can cope with additional weight. In order to make your training as efficient and effective as possible, you need to carefully calculate (and optimize) the ratio of your chin-up activity to your reverse EeZee Bar Scott Curls. This will provide you with more power when you hit the chin-up bar.

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Sample Workout


A sample progression chart clearly indicates the effectiveness of this approach when strengthening elbow flexors.


Phase 1: Between 1 - 6 workouts for three weeks. Consisting of standing EeZee Bar curls (shoulder-width grip) 4×6-8, 4010, 120s

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Phase 2: Between 2 - 6 workouts for three weeks. Consisting of 45° DB Incline hammer curls, 4×4-6, 4010, 150s


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Phase 3: Between 3 - 6 workouts per week for a three-week period. Consisting of 65° DB incline curls, supinated grip, 4×5-7, 4010, 120s


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Phase 4: 4 - 6 workouts over the same period as above. Exercises to include reverse EeZee Bar curls, (shoulder-width grip), 5×4-6, 40×0, 150s

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To ensure maximum effectiveness each rep should start and finish with the elbow in a fully extended position. 


Sets and Reps


Those following this program must ensure that the weight (or the number of reps) is increased at each new workout. This regular increase in weight contributes to building the strength of the elbow flexors.


Every exercise in your program should be performed twice a week for the first three weeks in your personal training program. This should be the first exercise you do in your upper body routine - and once you have completed three weeks of this training you will be ready to move on to the next phase.


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During the 4 high-impact phases eccentric chin-ups should be the second exercise in the upper-body lineup - and you should aim to lower yourself for 30 seconds. After these 4 phases continue to make chin-ups the first exercise in your upper body routine.   


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