A one arm chin up is an exercise that takes a great deal of strength in your biceps, shoulders and back muscles because it puts a great deal of stress on the shoulder girdle. This is not a move that individuals should rush in to. Instead, there are several steps to train for the ultimate goal of completing one arm chin ups. But first, we must explain something. The chin up and pull up are two very similar moves – the only real difference is the way one’s grip is facing.
There are several pieces of equipment that one can use to complete a one arm chin up. Some who use one arm chin ups in their workout regimens like to use the bar, while others use the rings. Still, there are some who use porches or metal beams. Different trainers like to use different equipment, but the most popular choice is the bar, because it is most familiar to most individuals who use gymnastic exercises in their workouts.
Training Exercises for the One Arm Chin Up
There are several progressions that one must master before working toward being able to complete a one arm chin up. Individuals should work on each of these moves for a period of time before moving on to the next progression. Some of these moves are discussed below.
- Master the rope climb, which begins with the no-leg climb – with the rope between your legs; pull yourself up reaching as high as you can.
- Next, work on cirques – an advanced rope climbing technique that uses negative one arm chin ups on the descent. This move is difficult and Coach Summer suggests first trying this move from a space not far from the ground and keeping your non-gripping arm close to the rope in case your supporting arm fails.
- Once you’re comfortable with cirques and can do multiple cirques safely as you descend the rope, it’s time to try alternate arm chin ups.
When you’re comfortable with the alternate arm chin ups, it’s time to attempt the one arm chin up. The first time you try to do a one arm chin up, at GymnasticBodies, we suggest supporting your lifting arm with the other hand while you pull yourself up, then lower without the support from your second arm. Aim for minimal reps, then take a 3-5 minute rest before you do another set.
As a caution, one arm chin-up training can lead to severe tendinitis when the above progressions are skipped or when training volume is too high. Remember that you can always train more tomorrow, but an injury today can lead to weeks or months of setbacks.