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 Thirty flawless chin-ups

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Grayfox

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PostSubject: Thirty flawless chin-ups   Wed Sep 15, 2010 12:47 pm

( I'm so jealous I could stamp my feet and cry.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uz-SW04cMOc&feature=player_embedded

{EDIT by Pete: You can use the "Video button" above where you write a post to put in the actual clips from youtube, so you don't need to click away to view - see below}
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Grayfox

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PostSubject: Re: Thirty flawless chin-ups   Wed Sep 15, 2010 6:49 pm

Grayfox wrote:
( I'm so jealous I could stamp my feet and cry.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uz-SW04cMOc&feature=player_embedded

Oh... and this lady too...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6cJtACEam3E&feature=related
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Pete
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PostSubject: Re: Thirty flawless chin-ups   Fri Sep 24, 2010 9:21 am

Actually they are not flawless chins. The guy isn't engaging his lats at all after the first few reps, he's using all arm power to complete those reps, no lats. You need to depress the scapulae (shoulder blades) to really engage the lats. One coaching cue I use is to think of trying to touch your sternum to the bar (raise the chest to meet the bar). If you watch it again you'll see he doesn't raise the chest at all after the few few reps (& has very little lat development for that amount of chinning), but has big guns...that is due to doing chins without engaging the lats. If you want that good lat flair & tapered look you need to depress the shoulder blades so the lats can work properly.
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PostSubject: Re: Thirty flawless chin-ups   Tue Sep 28, 2010 8:51 pm

The goal of chins though isn't necessarily to have the widest lats possible. He may want a different look or be more interested in having functional muscle than worrying about appearance.
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PostSubject: Re: Thirty flawless chin-ups   Wed Sep 29, 2010 4:28 am

If you aren't activating your lats you are not being efficient, you are compensating. Compensations lead to dysfunction over the long term. Hence coaches use things like the FMS (functional movement screen) to make sure the muscles are doing the right things. You find that if you compensate when doing a movement you are nearly always shorting your life as an athlete. Pulling yourself up this way will lead to injury & dysfunction over the longer term in most athletes. It would be better to do less reps using correct form, than more reps using poor form which will probably lead to injury down the road.
Lat size isn't the issue in this case, just a symptom of incorrect movement patterns. This guy needs to learn the correct way to use his muscles if he wants longevity in the athletic arena.
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PostSubject: Re: Thirty flawless chin-ups   Wed Sep 29, 2010 7:59 am

So how do you depress the shoulder blades and what sort of injury might he cause the way he did them?

Personally I've done a ton of chins and I would have thought with form that was often not as good as this fellow. The one injury I developed was just getting a very stiff feeling neck which I think came from having my arms above my head I think thus bunching up the muscles in my neck area.
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PostSubject: Re: Thirty flawless chin-ups   Wed Sep 29, 2010 8:58 am

By not using the lats as they are designed you are forcing other muscles to take on functions that they weren't designed to. By not setting up correctly you can lessen the gap some tendons in the shoulder area have to move through & so could develop some tendon issues in that area. You have less 'suspension' for the elbows & shoulders & so could develop issues in those areas as the lats take on a lot of the 'cushioning' load allowing forces to be spread out all the way down to the pelvis (look at the origins & insertions of the lat - if I remember correctly it's the second biggest muscle in the body!). Bear in mind the lats also aids in stabilising the scapulae (shoulder blades) in the mid-lat area, that function may also be compromised if the lat isn't set up correctly. The lats also stabilise the arms & thereby also the glenohumeral joint to an extent. Also what happens to force transfer when the lats are left out (forces could dramatically increase over tissue that was not designed to take that sort of load at that angle)? There really are 1001 things that can do you damage if you don't move the body as it was designed to be moved.
I'm not saying you WILL get injured doing chin-ups like this, just that it COULD shorten your life as an athlete. Obviously if you do a movement correctly you will lessen your chances of an injury or medical condition (tenditis/tendonosis for example), especially in the shoulder/ elbow areas as these will both be hit harder (in a bad way) than if you use the lats.
I believe you'd be more likely to get chronic rather than acute injuries using this style of chin, so shoulder pain, elbow issues etc would be more likely than say a sudden sprain or tear.
It wouldn't really be an issue if the video wasn't called "30 Flawless chin-ups" as they are not flawless in terms of recognised form.

It is so simple to coach someone to do a correct chin-up that you'd think why not do it? Sure if you're doing a chin-up contest you may modify form to hit maximum reps, but that's a competitive event & perfect training often suffers when you compete, but from a 'best training effect & overall health' stand point I'd add in the lats as a vital muscle to include when you chin.

Depression of the shoulders is most easily coached by simply trying to touch you sternum to the bar, not trying to get your chin over the bar. You may not touch your sternum to the bar (arm length & structure plays a big part in that), but the motion of attempting to do that naturally depresses the shoulders - try it now...sit up straight & try & raise your sternum, you'll see you shoulders naturally go down & back. For most clients I try & get that motion at the beginning of the rep, so they depress the shoulders then lift themselves. It can use more energy than just using your arms (as the lats are so big, they use a lot of fuel), so you may go down in reps at first, but over time you should notice more power during your pulling once the form is sorted out as you are using the strongest upper body muscle to aid in the lift.
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PostSubject: Re: Thirty flawless chin-ups   Wed Sep 29, 2010 9:15 am

OK thank you.
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PostSubject: Re: Thirty flawless chin-ups   Mon Oct 11, 2010 6:44 pm

On this same topic,
I had to lay off of chins this weekend because of elbow pain, but was able to continue with lat pull-downs.
Maybe my chins technique isn't good...?
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PostSubject: Re: Thirty flawless chin-ups   Mon Oct 11, 2010 10:02 pm

Chinups (or a supinated grip) use the biceps more than pullups / lat pulldowns (pronated grip). And heavy bicep work can result in elbow pain. Not necessarily a form issue. Could just be overwork.
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PostSubject: Re: Thirty flawless chin-ups   Tue Oct 12, 2010 2:21 am

As Jay says this could be a lot of things.When you do return to chinning you could try out some different hand positions, not just pronate/supinate, but in vest in a couple of towels & slip those over your bar & pull yourself up, or invest in one of these:



You can slip it over the bar& do neutral grip chins (as well as use it on the lat pulldown, & other cable stuff/band stuff if you buy a clip), just add some variety, just in case it's overdoing one style of chin too much.
You can also try inverted rows (you can do feet on the floor, feet elevated, even feet higher than body versions - you can also use gymnastic rings/TRX style, that works well:
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Grayfox

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PostSubject: Re: Thirty flawless chin-ups   Mon Oct 18, 2010 6:37 pm

You're right!
I do own one of these gizmos for the lat pulldown...

---so this weekend I tried hooking it over the bar and doing pull-ups.
That does seem to engage the lats more, and makes the pull-up easier.
Also better for the elbows.
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PostSubject: Re: Thirty flawless chin-ups   Sun Oct 24, 2010 6:49 am

...Also got started doing inverted rows.
These hurt in all of the right places, so I'll keep doing them.
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PostSubject: Re: Thirty flawless chin-ups   Sun Oct 24, 2010 8:07 am

Once you get used to inverted rows using a bar you can do them off of adjustable gymnastic rings (or TRX, or even just sling 2 towels or some rope over a bar) so it's unstable. Here's a quick youtube clip offering some progressions (note that on some of the progressions his abs could do with being a little tighter, just to keep the body straight, he has a little excessive lower back extension & the abs stick out a little too much on one or two of these...but if you remember to keep that core tight {keep abs & glutes tight-the rest will follow their lead} you'll do ok)

Just thought you might like some ways to progress & as I said a couple of towels slung over the bar or 2 bits of rope will work just as well as a fancy TRX for many of these (I've actually got some "Xtreme rings" a kind of adjustable length gymnastic rings set that you can sling over a bar, your chin-up bar or even a tree - they're pretty awesome & quick to set up...I'll see if I can find a clip)

I don't really use them for gymnastic stuff, you can do unstable push-ups (hang your feet or hands in them), unstable dips (VERY hard), inverted rows (any height you like), planks (again hands or feet involved), I've heard of guys doing an unstable bird-dog (using both hands in the rings, then raising one arm)...but never done that myself, chin or pull-ups (of course) & all those flashy gymnastic moves as well. I like them & they're pretty quick to put up & adjust.
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