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Close Grip Chin Ups - Muscles Worked & Benefits

Exercise Type: Multi-joint
Primary Muscles Worked: Lats
Secondary Muscles Worked: Biceps, Forearms, Middle Back and Serratus Anterior

Also known as close grip chins, this exercise is functional and because it relies on body weight, you have the freedom to do this exercise outdoors . The main muscles worked are the lats, but the exercise also works the middle back, the biceps and forearm muscles. Serratus anterior is also activated to ensure that your scapula is stable along with the middle back muscles.

Close Grip Chin Ups - Exercise Workout and Technique

  • Grasp the chinning bar with your hands close together and your palms facing you.
  • Start with your arms fully extended for a full stretch and to ensure a full of motion exercise.
  • Exhale as you bring yourself up to the bar, allowing your head to fall back away from the bar permitting your chest to come close to the bar.
  • Breathe in as you bring your body down to the starting position so that you feel a stretch in your lats.
  • Repeat for the desired amount of repetitions.

Close Grip Chin Ups - Tips & Safety

  • Learn to squeeze the targeted muscles to get the most out of the movement.
  • Avoid kicking your legs up and using momentum to drive you upwards.
  • Ensure that your torso is stationary and that only the arms are moving.
  • If you are new to the exercise and/or lacking in strength, an assisted chin up machine may be helpful to get you used to the exercise and to build up strength for the unassisted motion.
  • Avoid dropping down to the original position when fatigued as it places strain on the shoulder joint and rotator cuff muscles.

Close Grip Chin Ups - Alternatives

  • Try this exercise with a triangle-shaped handle instead of using a straight bar.
  • Vary this exercise with a variety of times spent in the concentric (up) and eccentric (down) phases
  • Once you are more advanced, the addition of weights to the exercise will help provide more resistance for added benefits.
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