- Target Muscle Group
- Exercise TypeStrength
- Equipment RequiredChains
- Force TypePull (Bilateral)
- Experience LevelIntermediate
- Secondary Muscles
Abs, Biceps, Shoulders, Upper Back
Target Muscle Group
Weighted Chin Up Overview
The weighted chin up is a progression lifters often make from chin ups once they’ve mastered the bodyweight variation of this movement.
The addition of weight when perform the weighted chin up provides an easy and trackable way for the lifter to achieve progressive overload when performing the exercise. And of course, progressive overload is a key component of building bigger, stronger muscles.
Weighted Chin Up Instructions
- Load a weight belt with the desired weight and loop it around your waist.
- Using a supinated grip, grasp the bar with a shoulder width grip.
- Take a deep breath, squeeze your glutes and brace your abs. Depress the shoulder blades and then drive the elbows straight down to the floor while activating the lats.
- Pull your chin towards the bar until the lats are fully contracted, then slowly lower yourself back to the start position and repeat for the assigned number of repetitions.
Weighted Chin Up Tips
- To decrease bicep involvement, use a false (thumbless grip).
- Try to keep a neutral head position (looking straight ahead or slightly up) as hyperextending the neck can lead to compensations throughout the spine.
- If the bar is high enough, keep the legs straight and in front of the body.
- Avoid falling into overextension of the lumbar spine by squeezing your glutes and bracing your abs.
- The chin up is completed when the lats are fully flexed, don’t continue pulling and compensate with the pecs.
- Keep your shoulders down and back, if they round forward at the top then you’ve pulled too far.
- A lifter’s segment length will determine whether or not they can actually get their chin over the bar, it’s not an absolute for everyone.
- Lower to almost full extension of the elbow but avoid locking out completely as this can place excessive strain on the ligamentous structures within the elbow and shoulder.
- If you can’t complete a single bodyweight chin up, start with slow negatives or flexed arm hangs at the top position.
- Ditch the straps and kips, neither one is necessary or recommended.