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Chest Exercises On the Chin Bar

author image Louise D E Jensen
Louise D E Jensen has written professionally since 1991. She has authored more than 12 books, has appeared on CTV news as a fitness and nutrition expert, and is featured in the "Globe and Mail." She holds degrees in dietetics and epidemiology from the University of British Colombia and the University of Toronto.
Chest Exercises On the Chin Bar
Man doing pull-ups on chin bar at gym. Photo Credit Chris Clinton/Photodisc/Getty Images

The chin bar, also sometimes called a pull-up bar, is a secured piece of steel that can aid you in a range of exercises designed to build chest strength. They can be part of a larger piece of gym equipment, or they can hang from door frames, which makes them well-suited for at-home workouts.

Just Hanging Out

By far the simplest chin bar exercise, simply hanging from the chin bar will provide a workout for your chest, arms and back. It's perfect for beginners looking to build up to a full pull-up or chin-up. Hanging from the bar lets you practice pulling your torso up above the par gradually. Hold onto the bar with one or two hands for 10 to 30 seconds at a time, trying to pull yourself up as high as you can go. To increase the resistance, keep your elbows gently bent throughout the exercise.

The Classic: Chin-ups

Chin-ups, also called pull-ups, are harder than they first appear. Grab the hanging bar with both hands in a forward facing overhand grip, then space your hands slightly more than shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees to between 45 and 90-degrees, then slowly pull your body up with your arms while bending your elbows, keeping your torso straight and your head upright. Lift your body until your chin rises no more than 2 inches above the bar. Slowly lower yourself back to the starting position and repeat five to 10 times for two to three sets.

Reverse Push Up

The reverse push up exercises your upper body, core and back. Standing with the chin bar lowered to between your upper chest and your waist, grasp the bar with both hands in a reverse underhand grip. Space your hands to slightly more than shoulder width apart and place your feet together. Lower your body so your arms are fully extended from your shoulders and you're balancing on your heels. Keep your legs and torso straight so a straight line forms between your head and heels. Slowly raise your chest toward the bar, bending your elbows, and then slowly lower yourself back to the starting position. Repeat 10 times for three sets. To increase the difficulty, you can lower the height of the chin bar.

Hanging Dips

Many chin bars have external handles at a perpendicular angle to the bar itself. Use these handles for hanging dips. Holding the handles on the bar with a diagonal overhand grip, mount the bar and handles so your upper body is at hip level when your arms are fully extended. With your knees bent 90 degrees and your thighs bent to form a 60-degree angle with your torso, slowly bend your elbows until your chest reaches the height of the handles. You will feel a slight stretch in your chest muscles at the bottom of the dip. Slowly rise back up by fully extending your arms and repeat 10 times for three sets.

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