How To Do Wide Grip Chin Ups Properly

Wide grip chin ups are a variation of the chin ups that incorporates a wider grip than usual. It majorly targets the lats in addition to multiple muscle groups across your upper body.

This compound move is performed by grasping the pull bar using a wide underhand grip, then lifting yourself from a dead hang until your chin is above the bar. It is quite challenging as the pecs are not engaged as much and a lot more stress is placed on the shoulders.

However, it severely limits the range of motion thus, less energy is used for the same amount of work. Moreover, it improves your grip strength, posture, and strengthens the muscles that stabilize your spine.

Consequently, it helps to reduce your risk of back pain and injury.

HOW TO DO WIDE GRIP CHIN UPS

Here are the steps for performing the exercise.

  • Find a pull-up bar and then hold with a wide underhand grip.
  • Tighten your core and lift yourself as high as possible until your chin is over the bar.
  • Pull your chest towards the barbell to ensure full height.
  • Now, lower yourself to a full extension in order to work your shoulder stabilizers and back muscle mass. This helps to maintain shoulder girdle health.
  • Repeat the movement for the desired number of reps.

WIDE GRIP CHIN UPS MUSCLES ENGAGED

The latissimus dorsi is the primary mover for the movement. The core is also activated for stability during the movement.

Your pecs are responsible for swinging your arms down toward your body, which results in lifting your body up toward the bar.

Other muscles that are engaged throughout the movement are the biceps brachii, brachialis, brachioradialis, posterior deltoid, rhomboids, subclavius, teres major, teres minor, trapezius Iii, trapezius Iv, and triceps brachii (long Head)

WIDE GRIP CHIN UPS BENEFITS

IMPROVE YOUR UPPER BODY STRENGTH

The move works several muscles in your upper body like the latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, teres major, and trapezius muscle in your back. Consequently, it strengthens these upper body muscle.

Additionally, by working the pecs and teres minor muscles, it helps to sculpt your upper chest.

DEVELOP ARM STRENGTH

The move is an excellent bodyweight exercise that targets your biceps brachii and the brachialis, your elbow flexor muscles. This strengthens your arms.

IMPROVE YOUR GRIP STRENGTH

By activating your brachioradialis muscles in your forearms, the move improves your grip strength. Therefore, you can use it as a warm-up for other compound exercises like lat pulldowns, parallel bar push-ups, and barbell curls.

WIDE GRIP CHIN UPS ALTERNATIVES

WIDE GRIP PULL-UPS

The wide grip pull-ups are quite similar to the wide grip chin ups. The difference is with the former, you’ll need to use a wider pronated grip.

It is a great bodyweight exercise that builds strength in your upper-body. It mainly works your latissimus dorsi which are located just below the shoulder blades.

You can perform the wide grip pull-ups by grabbing a pull-up bar with a pronated grip that is wider than shoulder-width. Then, try lifting your body up from a dead hang position until your chin is above  the bar.

WIDE-GRIP RESISTANCE BAND PULLS

The wide grip resistance band pulls simulate wide-grip pulldowns. The equipment needed is a short elastic resistance band or one that you can grip near the middle.

Replacing the barbell with a resistance band does not make the move less effective at working the upper back. Actually, the only difference will be the use of resistance bands instead of weights.

You can perform this move in either a sitting or upright position.

WIDE GRIP LAT PULLDOWNS

The wide grip lat pulldowns also work the lats primarily. These lats are one of the biggest back muscles and this machine directly targets them.

The move is argued to be the best way to develop back strength  especially for beginners who find the wide grip chin-ups to be challenging at first.

The lat pulldown is quite similar to the chin up movement, thus building the same muscles of your upper back. Therefore, you should incorporate it to your weight training workout routine.

You can try to use a wider grip like that of a wide grip chin ups in order to get optimal results. However, make sure that you incorporate the proper technique and not to lean back or rush the move.

This will prevent you from risking injury and enable you to fully focus on engaging the latissimus dorsi muscles.

WIDE GRIP CHIN UPS MISTAKES TO AVOID

PARTIAL RANGE OF MOTION

Make sure that you fully extend your arms all the way down before pulling yourself back up. This will enable you get optimal results and engage all targeted muscles.

It is better to do fewer but full chin ups rather than many half-reps.

NOT ENGAGING YOUR SHOULDERS FROM THE START

Failing to engage your shoulders from the start leads to the incorporation of other body parts to pull yourself up. These parts may not be equipped to handle that type of strain thus, risking tear or injury.

Therefore, ensure that you engage your scapular and shoulders throughout the movement for optimal gains.

NOT PULLING YOUR CHIN UP PAST THE BAR

This goes hand in hand with not completing a full range of motion. After fully extending your arms, make sure that your chin goes past the bar.

If you can’t get your chin up without sticking your neck out, you can try using a band to correct your technique.

MOVING TOO FAST AND USING TOO MUCH MOMENTUM

Do not rush the movement as you will end up using more momentum than muscle. Hence, your targeted muscles will not be fully engaged and this could result in reduced gains or injury.

Ensure that you use slow and controlled movements focusing on the strict pull up first before varying the tempo.

CONCLUSION

Despite being a challenging body-weight exercise, the wide grip chin ups are one of those moves that you love to hate.

With proper form and consistency, the results are quite incredible even with just a few reps.

 

 

 

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