Weighted chin ups are a variation of the standard chin up performed with added weight, either with a dip belt or with a weight attached at the waist.
You can alternatively hold a dumbbell between your legs. This exercise provides strength and hypertrophy stimulus that can help sculpt your arms and build your back.
Weighted chin ups can be added to a routine or performed independently. It will still provide functionality, size, and strength to all fitness fanatics.
Targeted Muscles: Arms, Back
Required Equipment: Pull up bar, Dip belt, Weight plate
Exercise Type: Hypertrophy
Exercise Mechanics: Compound
Difficulty Level: Medium
Get a bar to hang from and follow this technique to perform the workout as recommended.
- Attach a weight plate to the chain of your dip belt and hang it on your waist.
- Grip the bar at about shoulder-width using a supinated/underhand grip.
- Bulge your chest from the hanging position like you’re attempting to face your torso to the bar.
- Pull your weight up by driving your elbows towards your ribs while maintaining the bulging chest posture.
- If you have enough strength, your chest should contact the chin-up bar.
- Gently lower your body back to resume the dead hang position and repeat the movement until you attain the desired reps.
Be sure to note if the weight place is swinging. If you aren’t as strict, the weight will swing around and make it hard to perform the exercise correctly. Control your movement so that the weight does not swing around as you move up and down.
- Perform every rep with a full range of motion.
- Do not work your way up by swinging your body; you will be cheating your way through.
- Don’t drop your body fast- be sure to control your body throughout the motion.
- You can add weight to level up and add intensity to the workout.
- Keep your legs aligned to your body throughout the workout.
MUSCLES WORKED BY WEIGHTED CHIN UPS
Weighted chin ups primarily target the lats, biceps, and forearms. It is a lat workout, but the biceps contribute to the motion due to the supinated position and getting a proper workout.
The weighted chin up is designed to target the biceps because of the underhand position assumed as you perform the exercise. This position necessitates a high degree of elbow flexion, which is a role better suited for the biceps.
The main back muscles (latissimus dorsi) are activated when you perform the weighted chin up. Much as the biceps play the crucial role of generating the force for pulling the body up, the weighted chin up is still a pulling exercise. This means the lats still play a pulling role in every rep.
BENEFITS OF WEIGHTED CHIN UPS
IMPROVED UPPER BODY PULLING STRENGTH
Apart from pulling your body weight, you now have an extra weight hanging from your waist. Your grip, back, and arms get proper training. The strength you acquire from this workout is mainly influenced by its intensity.
Once you advance your technique to a certain strength level, you can easily perform 5-10 reps. This exercise allows you to level up its intensity, developing your pulling strength.
HYPERTROPHY BENEFITS ON THE BACK AND NECK
Once you can perform many reps, you may need to level up this workout by adding the weight to grow your back and biceps.
Multiple rep ranges are effective or hypertrophy benefits instead of sticking to one rep range.
If you want to reduce the rep range, keep your effort high and add weight.
IMPROVE SHOULDER MOBILITY
The weighted chin up is already a great shoulder mobility drill as you are in the dead hang posture. It facilitates external rotation and flexes the shoulder.
With the added weight and a loaded stretch, you will free up your shoulders and lats for better mobility. This move will also alleviate shoulder pains and stiffness.
ALTERNATIVES TO WEIGHTED CHIN UPS
V BAR PULL UP
The v bar pull-up enables you to execute the vertical movement efficiently and is the ideal weighted chin up alternative. It mimics the same motion and targets the same muscles.
Required Equipment: Pull up bar, V-bar
- To perform the v bar pull-up, you require a v bar and a pull-up bar. Set the v bar at the top of the pull-up bar and hold the bar with a bar using a neutral grip. Ensure your palms face each other.
- Lower your body such that you hang from the v bar. This is your starting position.
- To get into action, pull yourself up in a slow and controlled motion as far as you can. Tilt your head slightly so that you don’t hit the bar.
- Pause and hold the position for a second, then gently lower yourself back to resume the starting position.
- Repeat the motion until you achieve the desired sets of reps.
MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN PERFORMING WEIGHTED CHIN UPS
NOT ENGAGING YOUR SHOULDERS FULLY
Engaging your shoulders from the start of the rep is essential when performing weighted chin ups. When you engage them later, you will be leading the motion with other parts of your body- the tendons and joints that aren’t accustomed to that type of strain.
Brace your shoulders and scapular from the beginning and throughout the exercise.
OBSESSING ABOUT MOVING YOUR CHIN OVER THE BAR
This is a chin up, not a chin over! You don’t have to move your chin over the bar if you are not fit enough to do it. This exercise aims to train your lats, and they will indeed be trained thoroughly if you follow the correct technique.
Note that this drill will train the biceps more when you reach the top of the rep. When you hang from the bar to initiate the movement, the biceps will not be in a position to perform the pull. Do not be overconcerned by moving your chin over the bar. It is an accessory move that you can only perform if you are fit enough to do it. Either way, you will attain the best benefits with the correct technique, even without getting your chin over the bar.
Consider adding weighted chin ups in your strength training routine if you’re looking to build a broad back. The benefits of this workout don’t stop at building a massive upper body and improving grip/ shoulder strength. This exercise will improve your mobility for normal day-to-day activities and your physical aesthetic.
Concentrate on perfecting your technique and advance as you get more fit. Remember to be consistent to gain the optimum benefits of this exercise.
Try it out.