Step 1

Starting Position: Stand under the chin-up bar and reach your arms overhead with your palms facing away from you.  Reach,  jump or lift your body off the floor to grasp the handles firmly with a full grip position (thumbs wrapped around the handles).  Gently cross one leg over the other to stabilize your lower extremity and then stiffen ("brace") your abdominal muscles to stabilize your spine.  Align your head vertically with your trunk under your hands and assume a neutral wrist position (i.e., wrist aligned in a straight line with your forearms).  Depress and retract your scapulae (pull shoulders back and down) and attempt to hold this position throughout the exercise.

Step 2

Slowly exhale and slowly pull your body upwards by flexing (bending) your elbows and pulling your elboes down to your sides  Attempt to pull in a motion that drives your elbows directly down towards the floor, while keeping them positioned in the 3 and 9 o'clock position (aligned with the sides of the trunk).  Attempt to keep your body aligned vertically to the floor and avoid swinging your body during your upward pull

Step 3

Continue pulling upward until your chin is level with the bar or your hands.  Pause momentarily then slowly return to your starting position by allowing your arms to extend back overhead until your arms are fully extended.  Continue to maintain your shoulder and wrist position, and the vertical alignment of your trunk.  Repeat the movement. 

Step 4

Exercise Variation:  The intensity of this exercise can be increased with resistance that can be added by wearing a weight belt to which weights are connected.  Using a narrow, prontated (palms forward) grip shifts some of the load from your lats (mid-back muscles) into the muscles of the upper back.


This exercise targets the back muscles effectively, but should be performed without compromise to the shoulder. Follow the instructions provided to reduce the stress placed upon your shoulders

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