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Have you ever been in the gym and watched those that can pump out chin
ups as though there is a ghost boosting them from their feet?My initial reaction is “Show off”; but you
know what? Not fair. It should be admiration.I
should not be jealous of someone that has obviously put in a lot of effort to
achieve this exercise in good form.My
latest goal is to do 5 chin ups, without looking like a wind charm swaying from
a tree in Wellington. (FYI, Wellington New Zealand is currently the windiest city in the world.)
I must admit the monkey bar
fail at ‘True Grit’ event was a prompter for my new chin up goal.How do I achieve this?I either loose 15kg, (so there is less weight
to lift), or I gain more strength, (so I can lift that extra 15kg)? I figure I’ve got this... no time limit on
this goal friends, but I have put it in print, so now I am held accountable.
A few exercises that will assist my ambition:
1.Isometric chin up
2.Suspended pull up
3.Eccentric chin up
4.Band-assisted chin up
But, I am going to start with the “Close Grip Lat Pull Down”
•Main Muscle Group: Lats
•Secondary Muscle(s): Biceps, Middle Back
•Exercise Type: Strength
•Equipment Required: Cable
•Force Type: Pull
•Experience Level: Intermediate
1.The close grip
lat pull down is similar to the regular pull down, but close grip
means that you have a close grip, duh… oh, and that your biceps are more
involved in the exercise. Set up for the close grip lat pull by
attaching a small triangle bar to the machine, (if you are itty bitty and on
the short side, ask a trainer to reach it for you), set the weight on the stack
(be realistic), and adjust the knee pad, (you don’t want to bob up and down
like a toffee apple).
2.Grasp the handles with determination and grip.
3.Sit down on the machine
with your arms fully outstretched. This is the starting position. This would be
a good time to hold onto the bar otherwise you may look a little bit odd at this
point with your hands randomly in the air.
4.Keeping your back and
body straight, slowly pull the weight down to your upper chest. Lucky females, this may be a higher point for
you then the men; but you get the general idea.
5.Pause, and then slowly raise the weight back to the start position. Do not let the stack drop. If you do, you will get nasty looks from
staff and shocked looks from fellow gym goers.
6.Repeat for desired reps.
1.Keep your elbows tucked
in by your side when pulling the weight down. No chicken wings here please.
2.Don't lean back at any
time. You may find yourself in a slight lean but remember it makes the exercise
easier - it's cheating! Shock horror, those grunters who do the lat pull
down practically horizontally, not good form!
3.Control the weight at
all times - don't let it drop quickly. Once again you'll get annoying looks from
4.To add extra intensity
pause for a count of 2 at the bottom of the movement squeezing through the
lats. If you are with a trainer, more than likely we will get you to pause at
the bottom, and midway at some stage of the set… (insert evil laugh here, bwa
ha ha ha).
5.Focus on squeezing the
lats to move the weight. Your forearms should only be responsible for holding
the weight. Breaths out as you pull, grunt if you must, a squeal is not
necessary, although a song would be appreciated.