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Simple Hacks To Help You Master Chin Ups & Build A Better Body

Simple Hacks To Help You Master Chin Ups & Build A Better Body

Chin ups are an exercise that we should all master. Few exercises offer as much muscle and strength building bang for the buck. Doing them properly will help you build and strengthen nearly every muscle in your upper body. They especially target your back, biceps, and shoulders. When done properly, they’ll even help you build strong, flat abs.

The only problem with chin ups is that they’re very tough to perform at first. Most men and women cannot do 1 rep properly when they first try this exercise. This, in turn leads to most people ignoring them and instead performing easier exercises like lat pull downs and barbell rows.

Don’t be one of these people. With the proper strategy and some hard work anyone can do chin ups. This article shows you how. Follow the tips in this article and you will soon be doing them with world class form.

Chin Up Progressions

Use Resistance Bands
The thing that makes chin ups so tough is that you need to be able to lift all of your body weight off the ground from a hanging position. One way to take off some of the load and make them easier is to use a resistance band.

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Resistance bands will do some of the work for you, decreasing the amount of weight you have to lift off the ground. Using them is simple too. All you need to do is tie a band to your chin up bar so that there’s a loop at the bottom. Place one of your feet in this loop and you’re set. You’ll now get the assistance you need to perform a proper chin up.

Start with the heaviest resistance band required to perform 5 chin ups with proper form. Once you can do 3 sets of 10 reps it’s time to use a lighter band. Continue with this progression until a resistance band is no longer required.

Negatives
If you don’t have access to resistance bands you can still become strong enough to do a chin up. You just have to learn to accentuate the negative.

This doesn’t mean you should become angry and say bad things about this exercise. What it means is that you need to emphasizing the negative (lowering) phase of the chin up. Doing just this part of the exercise will help you become stronger and eventually make it possible to perform a complete chin up.

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Perform this exercise by standing on a chair or bench, grabbing onto the pull up bar and raising yourself to the top position of the pull up exercise. Your chest should be even with the bar. Then, lower yourself from the top position of the pull up to the bottom for 5 seconds. Increase the amount of time you take to lower yourself by 2 seconds every workout. Do this until it takes 15 seconds to perform 1 rep. Your goal is to be able to perform 10 pull ups this way.

Once you can perform 15 second negative pull ups for 10 reps you should be able to perform at least 2-3 sets of 3-5 pull ups. Make it your goal to add at least 1 more pull up to your workout every week. Once you can do 3 sets of 10 pull ups, you can begin to add weight or perform more difficult variations.

Chin Up Assistance Exercises

Strengthening your weak points will help you master chin ups faster. The key is to perform the right exercises.

You need to focus on strengthening muscles that help you pull your body up and over the chin up bar. This means building stronger biceps, back, and shoulder muscles. The exercises that helped me become strong enough to master the chin up included farmer’s walks, kettlebell swings, and inverted rows.

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Putting It All Together

The best way to become strong enough to perform chin ups is to do them often. I recommend doing them 3 times a week with a days rest between each workout. They should be the first exercise in your workout. This will ensure that your body is rested and able to put 100% into every rep.

Below is a sample workout to help you get started. Take a day off to rest and recover between each session. Perform each exercise for 3 sets of 5-8 reps. Increase the weight when you can do 3 sets of 8 repetitions with good technique.

Workout A
Resistance Band Chin Ups
Push Ups
Kettlebell Swings
Inverted Rows
Lunges

Workout B
Negative Chin Ups
Standing Shoulder Press
Stiff Leg Deadlift
Bent Over Row
Farmers Walks

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Now you have a complete blueprint for mastering the almighty chin up. Apply the information in this article and before you know it, you too will be cranking out chin ups and be the envy of your gym.

(Photo credit: young bodybuilder training in gym via Shutterstock)

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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